Europe's crisis in 2018

TEHRAN, Jan. 20 (MNA) – 2017 ended while security, political, social, and economic crises remained strong in the United Europe. In other words, the United Europe started 2018 in a situation that lots of money should be expended to deal with the crises ahead. This issue is going to affect the maneuver power of many European authorities this year.

No doubt this year again, we're going to witness social, economic, security and political crises in Europe. The national and federal elections in 2017 and the political knots in Berlin and Vienna showed that this year we should be waiting for many events in European countries. There are some points that need to be mentioned in this regard:

The intensification of political crises in Europe

Firstly, political crises in the European Union and the Eurozone will be intensified in 2018. The scope of these crises would be even wider than before as Europeans face the need for "strong and stable" governments to deal with a variety of social and security crises. The increasing popularity of extreme right-wing parties in different European countries has led to a reduction in the vote of many traditional currents, including the moderate right and the moderate left groups.

For example, in Germany, Social Democrats and Christian Democrats are still trying to hold talks on the formation of a coalition government. Meanwhile, the extremists of Alternative for Germany (AFD) gained about 13 percent of the vote in the run-up to the German parliament, becoming the third strongest party in the country. Many analysts believe that, even if the German coalition government is formed, it won't be a strong government, because Merkel will lose her power to a great extent.

This is while Merkel, as the Chancellor of Germany, plays an important role in managing the crises in Europe. The increasing popularity of right-wing extremists in European countries will definitely undermine the traditional parties and their governments. Even in some cases, political parties are forced into a coalition with extreme right-wing parties. We saw this in Austria. In Austria, the "Freedom" which is a radical party, formed a coalition with the moderate-right party of "People". This has led to the coming of the anti-immigration, anti-Islamist, and nationalist party of "Freedom" into power.
It is noteworthy that in the second half of this year, Austria will have the rotating presidency of the European Union. Undoubtedly, over the course of the second half of 2018, we will see the intensification of the conflicts between Austria and other European countries over managing the United Europe, an issue that could aggravate the crises of the United Europe.

The growth of extremist movements in European countries

In other European countries, far-right parties, and populist movements in general, have been able to grow their results in polls. For example, in Sweden, which its national elections are scheduled to take place in 2018, the Democratic Party, which is a nationalist and anti-Islamist party, has won the first place in the polls. Although traditional parties, through forming coalitions, would be able to prevent the Democratic Party enter the power, but in that case, we'll see a weak state in Stockholm.

On the other hand, the Swedish Democratic Party can play an important role in confronting the coalition government with up to 25 percent of the seats in parliament. In Italy, The Five Star Movement has won a large number of votes and became the first party in the polls. In this case, The Five Star Movement could become the most determining political movement in Italy (the third-largest economy in Europe), and it will affect the presence of the European Union and the Eurozone in future.

The Social Consequences of the Far-Right Parties Coming into Power in Europe

With no doubt, the presence of extremist movements in power can lead to many social and security crises in the Green Continent. As noted above, the growth of extremist parties in multicultural societies is going to lead to increased attacks on Muslims and immigrants in general. In this case, we will witness the occurrence of continuous security crises in the United Europe. The social and economic crises of Europe are now tied to each other. It means that as social crises in Europe are strengthened, the security crises would increase.

The common denominator of the Europe's security and social crises will be the creation of social insecurity in this continent. This is what many experts of political and security affairs in Europe have seriously warned about. If this trend continues, we'll see not only the collapse of the Eurozone, but also the fading of EU's existence. It is not without a reason that some political and security experts believe in the collapse of the European Union in the near future.

The economic crisis in European continues

The other crisis that still persists in Europe is the economic crisis. The European economic crisis began in 2007, and over the past ten years, has affected many of the European countries. Although austerity policies in Europe have been effective in some cases over the last decade, they have not completely eliminated the financial and commercial crises. In some countries like Greece and Spain, the economic crisis still remains strong.

Furthermore, one of the main reasons for European citizens' turn to Far-Right movements, is the economic reasons and the inability of the moderate Right and Left currents to resolve these financial problems. In such a situation, European citizens look for a "return to pre-EU time" as a way to "escape the existing situation." It seems that the austerity policies are going to continue for this year in Europe, especially in the Eurozone.

The cuts in general budget of the governments, strikes and economic protests, the entry of trade unions into the scene of confrontation with European governments, etc. are issues that the European citizens will face this year. Nevertheless, the weakening of European governments will certainly affect the economic equations of the Eurozone and will affect the European countries' joint economic and commercial policy. In such a situation, the willingness of some countries to conduct a referendum on exit from Europe (such as Brexit) would be predictable.

Republished from: The Tehran Times

News Code 131438


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