[Global Times Depth] Where will Europe go from the far-right political party's "political tsunami"?

  [Global Times Comprehensive Report] Editor's Note: Affected by the weak economic recovery, high unemployment, the refugee crisis and the energy crisis brought about by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Europe is undergoing a change, and the biggest beneficiaries seem to be many countries. Far-right political parties: The Italian Brotherhood has the highest support rate in the upcoming parliamentary elections on September 25; in the middle of this month, after the Swedish parliamentary elections, the Sweden Democrats jumped to become the second largest party in the parliament; in June, the French extreme The right-wing political party "National League" also won a historic victory in the election and became the third largest force in the parliament... These parties position themselves as "spokesmen of popular dissatisfaction", believing that they are setting off a "patriotic boom", while many European public opinion has Call it a "political tsunami" and a "political earthquake."

One has to ask: what impact will this wave have on Europe?

"Sweden today, Italy tomorrow"

  "Today's Sweden, tomorrow's Italy." The article in the Italian newspaper La Stampa described it this way. "A black wave is hitting Europe. The dam in Sweden has been torn down by the big wave. This is the collapse of a political myth." The French far-right party Marine Le Pen, leader of the "National League", also said recently that the EU is no longer a "commonwealth", and the situation in Sweden and Italy is like a "patriotic wave" and a "political revolution".

  Germany's Star magazine reported under the title "Say 'No' to Europe, why these parties will weaken the EU" that the leading Italian center-right coalition of political parties in the election wants to reduce the country's cooperation with the EU, and if it wins, it will be rejected It's not just Italy that will change.

The German news agency analyzed that Meloni wants to "rebuild" Italy with her far-right party. Polls show that she is most likely to become prime minister, which worries many people because she often criticizes "Brussels bureaucracy".

The fact that Meloni's coalition partners - former prime ministers Berlusconi (Forza Italia) and Salvini (Coalition) of the centre-right parties - have maintained close ties to Russia and Putin for years is fueling European tensions. turmoil.

If she is at the helm, Italy will pursue its own interests first and then think in European terms.

  An article on the Russian "Politics Today" website on the 16th analyzing "Why more and more far-right forces are winning in European elections" said that the economic crisis, the uncontrolled flow of illegal immigrants, as well as changes in the world situation and the economic difficulties faced by Europe, They all stimulated the dissatisfaction of the people of European countries with their domestic politics, thereby changing the political situation of the relevant countries.

The most unintended consequence is the growing power of some far-right parties, worrying representatives of EU institutions and financial markets.

The article said that EU officials worry that Meloni will introduce protectionist economic policies after taking office and refuse to support the human rights of ethnic minorities.

  "I'm already looking forward to Meloni's victory. This is not a hypothesis." Crosseto, who participated in the formation of the Italian Brotherhood Party in 2013, said in an interview with Italian media recently that party divisions and social contradictions are all in Meloni's favor. .

Italians are divided on Meloni's potential as the new prime minister.

Some support her aggressive policy on illegal immigration, while others express concern, mentioning that she has made many tough and controversial remarks on illegal immigration, such as advocating that illegal immigrants be completely stopped abroad.

  According to the observation of the "Global Times" reporter in Italy, leaders of various political parties are currently active on social media such as TikTok in order to attract more young voters to support, but many young people show the attitude of "whoever comes to power is the same", and some also said "Those politicians don't seem to know how to communicate with young people at all." "Some people just create populism."

An Italian netizen who signed "No justice, no peace" questioned: "Imagine what will happen if the government will be composed of so-called center-right parties after the general election on the 25th? Yes, the consequences will be worse, abuse of power The incident will no longer be condemned, as that would be through 'normal checks' to keep the 'true Italians' of this country safe."

  In 2013, only about 4% of Italian respondents believed that immigration should be included in the country's "big policy". By 2017, this proportion had soared to 33%. At present, about 80% of Italians believe that the EU has not handled the refugee problem well. .

In Italy, immigrants from the Middle East and other places are still at a disadvantage, facing problems such as difficulty in finding jobs, low salaries, and difficulty in integrating into local society, as well as being subjected to violent law enforcement.

Although some immigrants know that some of the policies of the center-right coalition are not good for them, their coming to power may provide a substantive solution to the current poor economic situation and change the current sluggish situation of the Italian economy.

There are also people who worry that the Italian Brotherhood will impose more restrictions on immigration, such as increasing efforts to investigate and punish illegal immigrants, which will invisibly increase people's unfriendly feelings towards immigrants.

  This summer, the Chinese in Prato, Italy, applied to the local police station for a march to "strengthen the safety of the Chinese community and increase the police force", but some populists accused the Chinese of asking for an increase in police force to be "narrow behavior", and local media instead said "Chinese people carry too much cash when they go out, and they also wear famous brands and watches."

The Chinese also have a complicated mentality about the future government.

Because in the past time, the Italian government's practices such as increasing taxes and supplementing taxes on Chinese companies have overwhelmed many Chinese. They hope that the new government can improve the economy and ensure the normal life of the Chinese.

'Xenophobia will make Sweden worse'

  "In the 2002 parliamentary elections, the Sweden Democrats only got 1.4% of the support, but this year they got 20.7%, which is enough to show that Sweden is one of the most extreme countries in Europe." Swedish "Evening Post" Commentator Wolfgang made such comments after the election results.

The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party believed to be rooted in the neo-Nazi movement, jumped to become the second-largest party in parliament in the just-concluded election, and its anti-immigration and hard-line political rhetoric has deepened sentiment towards Swedish politics. Polarization or "Americanization" concerns.

While acknowledging the electoral defeat, Swedish Prime Minister Andersson warned that "the new government to be formed must draw a clear line from all attempts to incite hatred, threats and violence".

  The latest poll of nearly 700 people by the Swedish "local newspaper" through social media shows that as many as 67% are concerned about the Sweden Democrats gaining real political power in parliament.

They argue the new government will introduce stricter residency and citizenship rules that will lead to an increase in racism, intolerance and populism.

  "Racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia will make Sweden a worse place to live," said Smit, a Dutchman who lives in the small town of Småland.

Munro, a Brit who lives in Malmö, also warned that the potential "Trumpization" of Swedish politics is risky, with the Sweden Democrats' hard-line immigration line and apparent racism in the party very worrying.

Expats in Sweden are worried that they will be waiting longer for a residence and work permit issued by the immigration authorities, and may face new policies every year in the future.

  According to Dehedari, a political scientist at Stockholm University, every crisis-induced job loss or recession since 2008 has translated into votes for the Sweden Democrats, with Sweden only the latest to join "the far-right with higher support in the election." One of the European democracies with the highest rate”, in addition to France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Austria and other countries.

  The Sweden Democrats' supporters are mostly male small entrepreneurs and pensioners, are less educated than the average voter and mostly live in rural areas, said Junger, a professor at Stockholm's Sodertoun University who specializes in populist radical-right parties. Regional and industrial small towns.

But this year's polls show that the party has also attracted a large number of traditional working-class votes that had previously supported the Social Democrats, and has seen a marked increase in support among young people.

  The Sweden Democrats have a lot of support for their tough stance on immigration and crime.

Vanessa Vanessa, a sociology professor at Stockholm University who studies democracy, immigration and crime, said, “In public party debates, crime in immigrant communities is often conflated with failed racial integration, parallel societies, criminal gangs, etc. In other words, higher crime rates and social chaos are the result of police inefficiency and socioeconomic stagnation."

  Even some immigrants are starting to support the Sweden Democrats.

In Skane, a small town in southern Sweden of 20,000 people, 42.7% voted for the Sweden Democrats.

A 49-year-old Iraqi immigrant who runs a fruit stand in a small town said in an interview with the local media: "I learned from the newspapers that illegal cases of foreign immigrants occur from time to time in places such as Stockholm. People are tired of similar things. I have many friends who are Immigrants, this time also vote for the Sweden Democrats."

  In Brussels, pro-EU forces fear that the right-wing government, backed by the Sweden Democrats, will reduce its cooperation with the EU, especially on immigration policy, Sweden Daily reported.

Sweden will take over the EU's rotating presidency in January next year, and some NGOs worry that "the change of power in Stockholm may affect Sweden's willingness to push forward EU mandatory redistribution and border human rights protection legislation".

  The article in the German "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" said: "Sweden's election results remind people that how to deal with immigration is still the biggest concern of European voters. Similar to other European countries, Swedish voters are venting their anger by strengthening right-wing populist parties. Very unfortunate. The incumbent parties let this issue drag on for too long and it will lead to a failed outcome."

"Self-positioning as a spokesperson for popular dissatisfaction"

  "Sweden's change of power is a warning to Europe!" Germany's "Daily Mirror" recently published an article analysis that the list of far-right parties and populist parties is growing, such as Finland's "Orthodox Finns Party", Germany's Alternative for Germany, Belgium "Flemish Interest Party", Dutch Liberal Party, French "National League" and so on.

Alexandra Geser from Germany's Green Party worries that "this will make Europe weaker" and the countries want to block a common, strong European policy.

  Since the beginning of September, the Alternative for Germany party has been mobilizing supporters to hold demonstrations across the country every Monday to express dissatisfaction with the federal government's policies on energy and Russia.

The party, founded in February 2013, became the third largest party in the Bundestag four years later.

Torsten, who lives in Berlin, is an engineer in a machinery manufacturing company and his wife is an economic consultant. He told the Global Times reporter that they have also participated in many protests against the federal government's handling of the crisis because of soaring prices and energy. The crisis has made middle-class families like them feel more and more pressure on life.

  Zhao Yongsheng, a researcher at the National Institute of Openness and Global Innovation and Governance at the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times that far-right parties in some European countries used to have a support rate of less than 5%, but now they are gradually gaining power through elections , while also exacerbating the division of public opinion.

He said that some far-right political parties have a strong ideological color and will take extreme measures on internal and external issues, which will have a greater impact on the future political and economic development of Europe.

According to Zhao Yongsheng, in general, European far-right political parties have a relatively negative attitude towards immigration, but they are also selective towards "high-end immigrants".

Taking France as an example, Jean-Marie Le Pen (old Le Pen), the former chairman of the French "National Front", was very xenophobic. He once said that "if he is elected president, he will pass legislation to prevent immigration", but Marine Le Pen is against it. While foreign immigrants enjoy French benefits, they also welcome highly educated, skilled and wealthy immigrants.

  "Actually, the influence of far-right parties in some countries has been exaggerated by the media. Take France as an example, Marine Le Pen won very high votes in the election at first, but the people's election of the far-right does not necessarily mean that they support the far-right. It is to disapprove of the political forces on the stage now, and to express dissatisfaction with the status quo." Zhao Yongsheng believes that the social atmosphere in Europe was originally relatively tolerant, but with the development of the far-right and the impact of globalization, Europe seems to be no longer "Atmosphere" again.

He emphasized that the orientation of all politics and political parties is based on a country's economic and social conditions. Since the European debt crisis, coupled with the impact of factors such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic, energy crisis and inflation, the European economy has been on a downward slope.

  “It’s no surprise that far-right parties are on the rise again. Populists have always seen economic and social insecurity as a political opportunity. Now they can once again rely on anger and fear and position themselves as the voice of popular discontent.” Berlin-based political scientist Thomas Hesser told the Global Times that the old European political parties did not learn from the refugee crisis in 2015, and now there are more challenges brought about by the energy crisis and inflation.

According to his observation, the AfD's social network posts about inflation and energy are the most popular, and many of them are middle-class people who consider themselves "victims".

The rise of the far-right in Europe will be bigger this time around than it was in 2015, with higher approval ratings.

He believes that on the surface, Europe no longer appears "atmospheric", but in fact it is due to the decline of the strength of European countries themselves. Europe hopes to reflect values ​​such as multiculturalism, but it ignores the reality and is unable to do so.

(Global Times correspondent in Sweden, Italy, Germany, and Russia, Yin Miaoning, Ning Qingmu, Wang Zhen, Global Times reporter Liu Yang)