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Právo: Voter-provoked EU political quake seems inevitable

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Prague, May 3 (CTK) – The EU political map has started to dynamically change in reaction to recent crises, Czech security analyst Milos Balaban writes in daily Pravo on Tuesday, adding that the traditional parties seem unable to resist the “earthquake” initiated by voters from below.

The change became blatant after the EP elections in 2014, when Eurosceptic parties won the highest portion of the vote of all, Balaban writes.

The change then took on strength as a result of several general and regional elections in EU member countries, in which populist groupings succeeded, gaining support across the whole spectrum of voters in their respective countries, Balaban writes.

The election gains of many such parties and groupings have approximated to or even exceeded the 20-percent limit, he writes.

Their rise has been accompanied by political instability such as in Spain, where an early general election can be expected now that the latest polls terminated the forty-year bipolar power monopoly of the conservatives and the socialists, and new groupings of dissatisfied citizens are crucial for forming a new government, Balaban writes.

A political quake can also be expected soon in Austria, where Norbert Hofer, candidate for the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPOe), recently won the first round of the presidential election, Balaban writes.

In Austria, too, a bipolar power monopoly of the conservatives and the socialists is coming to an end, he says.

Unrest is also evident in “the motors of the EU,” Germany and France. The rocket rise of the three-year-old Alternative for Germany (AfD) in three land elections indicates people’s dissatisfaction with the German establishment, Balaban writes.

The developments in France are no longer worth commenting. National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s advancement to the second round of the presidential election will be no surprise next year, Balaban writes.

The EU faces the prospect of being changed from below, by the will of its citizens, in two to three years, he continues.

The determination to deepen the European integration will diminish, which will negatively affect the EU’s capability of jointly solving economic, social and security problems, paradoxically in the very moment where Europe is surrounded by an unseen portion of instability, Balaban writes.

Some time ago, Polish sociologist Marcin Krol wrote that the continuous undermining of the social status of the middle class, which has been ousted from public administration and replaced with non-elected elites of bankers, stock speculators and millionaire managers, forces the middle class to seek alternatives, Balaban writes.

At present, this also applies to blue collars, which has been proved by their mass support for Le Pen and Hofer, he writes.

In addition, the EU elites show incompetence and ineffective approach to the migrant crisis, he says.

As a result of all this, sharp political changes in the EU are unavoidable, Balaban states.

Will the traditional right- and left-wing parties, which have determined the shape of Europe in the past 60 years, be able to face these developments? he asks.

“Unfortunately, no light can be seen at the end of the tunnel for the time being. The picture of French president Le Pen shaking hands with her U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, who, too, might be catapulted to presidency by the dissatisfied middle class, is no science fiction any more,” Balaban concludes.

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