Europe has always struggled with right wing groups in the periphery of its politics But in recent years, these groups have skyrocketed in popularity
Nationalist, xenophobic, and ethnocentric parties like Alternative for Germany, the French National Front and the Dutch Party for Freedom, have seen unprecedented support, while Europeans struggle with widespread crises So, why are Europe’s right wing groups on the rise? Well, there’s no real question that most European countries have been suffering over the past few years Their proximity to the conflict in Syria has led to mass migration, forming a basis for the current migrant crisis 2015 saw more than one million migrants enter Europe, and with that, came expected and unexpected cultural clashing Widely publicized incidents such as mass sexual assault on New Year’s Eve in Cologne have contributed to a narrative of fear against migrant and refugee communities
This fear has been seized upon by populist right wing groups, such as the Alternative for Germany, which is seeing strong support against Chancellor Angela [ohn-guh-la] Merkel’s refugee program Conservatives say this difficult situation is the result of liberal democratic policies One example is Sweden, which is known for accepting up to twice as many refugees per capita than most other European countries The last five years have seen the far right, anti-immigration group, ironically called “the Sweden Democrats”, jump from about 3% of the vote in 2006, to more than 25% approval in national polling in 2015 Moreover, an analysis by Vocativ found that as migrant numbers increased, so did European nationalist parties rankings on Facebook
This was especially evident in wealthy, stable countries But besides the influx of migrants, many are looking to right wing ideology as their economy struggles Conservative rhetoric is often based on fiscal responsibility and the elimination of the welfare state In practice, these groups spend massive amounts on military and business But ideas which promise “paying less in taxes” at the expense of disadvantaged minority groups resonate with the majority population
Countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain have massive financial issues related to entitlement programs or insolvency This culminated in more than half a million Greek citizens voting for the neo-fascist group Golden Dawn, which has been accused of being a criminal organization, and is allegedly involved in murder, money laundering and trafficking The group saw the most votes in areas of poverty, as well as from citizens who live in regions with high migrant populations In total, they received 7% of the vote By comparison, pre-debt crisis elections saw Golden Dawn receive less than half a percent
High unemployment and immigration have long shown to help nationalist and populist groups gain support around the world As current European governments struggle to contain both economic and migrant crises, it’s no surprise that right wing parties have harnessed the palpable fear and uncertainty for the future; and in recent years, have seen a huge upswing in popularity But it isn’t just a political ideology, there have been real life consequences to Europe’s ongoing crises Learn about what the EU is doing to try and stop the influx of migrants Thanks for watching Test Tube make sure to like and subscribe for new videos every day!