Arnon Grunberg


Two years

On France, the EU-elections and democracy – The Guardian:

‘According to usually reliable projections, Macron’s centrist list was on course to score between 14.8% and 15.2% of the vote, less than half of RN’s tally of 31.5%-33% - the party’s highest ever in a nationwide election - and only just ahead of the Socialist list on 14%.
“At the end of this day, therefore, I will not be able to act as if nothing has happened,” Macron said in a televised address on Sunday. “That is why … I have decided to give you the choice of our parliamentary future again, by voting.”’ The French president, whose second term had more than two years to run before elections due in 2027, said he would shortly sign a decree calling the elections, and that the first round would be held on 30 June and the second on 7 July.’


‘Raphael Glucksmann, who ran on in the European elections on a combined ticket for his European group, Place Publique, and the Socialist party, said Macron had “given in” to Bardella. “This is a very dangerous game to play with democracy and the institutions. I am flabbergasted,” he said.
Another critic, Valérie Pécresse, a senior figure in the conservative Les Républicains, said: “Dissolving without giving anyone time to organise and without any campaign is playing Russian roulette with the country’s destiny.” The RN was far from the only far-right party to be celebrating gains on Sunday night. Exit polls indicated that the hard-right populists had also expanded their share of the vote in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
Although the centre-right alliance appeared to have taken a decisive lead in Germany, exit polls indicated the far-right Alternative für Deutschland had made significant gains, while the governing Greens and Social Democrats had slumped.’


‘n Austria, meanwhile, the far-right Freedom party was forecast to have come top, with a projected 27%, ahead of the conservative People’s party and the Social Democrats, on 23.5% and 23% respectively.
In the Netherlands Geert Wilders’ far-right party was running a close second behind a Left-Green alliance. The Freedom party looked set to win 17.7% of the vote, while the Left-Green alliance, led by the former EU Commission vice-president, Frans Timmermans, was on 21.6%.
On Sunday, the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, who leads a stridently nationalist and anti-immigrant government, told reporters after casting his ballot: “Right is good. To go right is always good. Go right!” However, the picture was not all dismal for centrists. According to an initial projection from the European parliament, MEPs from the four pro-European mainstream groups were forecast to retain a majority of seats in the assembly, but a smaller one than in 2019, which will make it increasingly difficult for them to pass laws.’

Read the article here.

The extreme-right, the populists have mainly one point, now they have decided that after the Brexit-debacle promoting the end of the EU might not be the best way to win elections: promising an end to mass immigration.

As Hein de Haas has pointed out, left and right are eager to tell lies about migration. For the right i.e. the extreme right this is a very profitable endeavor.

But migration cannot be stopped without hurting the economy, and there are reasons as well why it’s impossible to be stopped.

Before we once again announce the Coming of the Apocalypse let’s wait and see what Macron’s gamble will bring. The situation seems to be most dire in France, but then again, there are election in several German states (Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia) this fall, also then we will know more, at least a bit more.
And the presidential elections in the US might be even more consequential for Europe than any of the elections in Europe this year.

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