Angela Merkels populaarity could be on it`s way down owing to the refugeecrises, rites the research institute ISA( Photo: Bundeskanzleramt)
Angela Merkels populaarity could be on it`s way down owing to the refugeecrises, rites the research institute ISA( Photo: Bundeskanzleramt)

Support for the Far-Right and the Far-Left Continues to Rise, writes international ISA. In recent years, political parties on the far-right have enjoyed a significant increase in support in a number of European countries, unsettling the political systems in a number of these countries. Now, a number of far-left political parties have also become major players on the European political system and both sides appear to be gaining momentum. On one side, far-left political parties are now in power (or sharing power) in Greece and Portugal and are playing major roles in Spain and a number of other countries in the region. On the other side, far-right political parties are on or near the top of opinion polls in a host of European countries, most notably in France, Poland and much of Scandinavia. Interestingly, both of these extreme sides of the European political spectrum point to the policies of one European leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the reason for much of their recent increase in support,rites ISA – International Strategic Analysis.

Merkel the Scapegoat

At home, Chancellor Merkel, despite some recent wobbles, remains Germany’s most popular political leader, maintaining levels of support that other European leaders can only dream of. However, outside of Germany, her policies are often derided and her and her government are blamed for many of the economic, political and social woes that have befallen Europe over the past decade. For example, Germany’s support for harsh austerity measures in the wake of Europe’s financial crisis are viewed by many on the political left as having prevented southern Europe from recovering more quickly from that region’s deep recession in the wake of this crisis. Moreover, the fact that Germany benefits more from the euro than any other Eurozone member state plays into the anti-euro stances of many far-right and far-left parties in the region. Now, Germany’s decision to welcome more than 1.1 million migrants and refugees in 2015 has been derided by most other European Union member states, who view this as a serious threat to European security and have refused German calls to significantly increase their intake of these migrants and refugees from the unstable regions surrounding Europe.

Far-left on the Rise in Southern Europe

The most lasting political legacy of the financial crisis in southern Europe has been the collapse in support for many of that region’s long-dominant centrist political parties. In their place, far-left political parties have made major gains in support. For example, the far-left Syriza party is now in power in crisis-hit Greece, while two far-left parties are now in a left-wing coalition government in Portugal. Meanwhile, the new far-left Podemos party in Spain has seen its support surge over the past year and it is now a leading player in one of Europe’s largest countries. In all cases, these successful far-left political parties have used their opposition to the austerity measures imposed on them by Germany to bolster their support. Nowhere is this more evident than in Greece, where Chancellor Merkel is often seen as a leading cause for the devastation of that country’s economy.

The Far-Right on the Rise in Northern Europe

While the far-left has used the unpopular policies of Chancellor Merkel to bolster their support, so too have Europe’s leading far-right political parties, as they have used the recent migration policies of the German chancellor to increase their own support. Having seen their support rise in recent decades due to their opposition to the growing powers of the European Union bureaucracy in Brussels and to the perceived threat posed by minority groups in Europe, these parties have benefitted tremendously from the unease that the migration crisis in Europe has caused. Moreover, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the threat of other attacks across Europe and the recent mass sexual assaults across Germany by apparent migrants have all led to an increasing number of voters opposing Chancellor Merkel’s decision to welcome such huge numbers of migrants and refugees to Europe last year. While the German leader unsuccessfully called on other EU member states to accept more migrants and refugees, far-right parties across Europe condemned Germany’s migration policies. The influence of these parties insured that countries where far-right parties are powerful would not accept large number of migrants and refugees and would call for a tightening of border controls across the region.

The Beginning of the End for the Chancellor?

Now, Germany’s economic and migration policies, while initially supported at home, have proven very unpopular abroad and have fuelled the rise of far-left and far-right political movements across Europe. Moreover, German voters are also growing increasingly wary of the chancellor’s migration policies and with the German economy forecast to slow in the coming year, her support levels at home could fall as well. As such, it is now plausible that Chancellor Merkel will choose to step down in the near future, something that would have been unthinkable at this time last year. Meanwhile, as a result of Germany’s policies under her leadership, Europe’s political outlook is more muddled than at any time in recent history, as movements on both the extreme right and left continue to gain support and take away votes from more centrist parties, threatening to lead to political gridlock in many countries across Europe, writes International Strategic Analysis.

About ISA

ISA (International Strategic Analysis) is a world leader in the fields of country intelligence, economic forecasting and international market analysis. Today, ISA is delivering world-class international research and analysis to many of the world’s largest companies, financial institutions, government bodies and universities, providing these organizations with the information and insights needed to make key decisions regarding international markets. ISA’s research covers all corners of the globe and is utilized by clients in more than 150 countries, clients that have come to trust ISA for its ability to accurately predict the economic, business and political issues and trends in international markets.

Angela Merkel on her way down in German Politics( Photo: Bundesregierung)
Angela Merkel on her way down in German Politics( Photo: Bundesregierung)

Skriv en kommentar

Din e-postadresse vil ikke bli publisert. Obligatoriske felt er merket med *