Unstoppable rise of racism in Europe

Published 19.09.2017 01:16

The situation is more or less the same in all EU countries. Center parties are in decline, while racist parties grow much stronger in every election. One can't help but feel anxious. In the European continent, which victimized millions to fascism in the dark times of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, both the EU and member countries' governments fail in the face of racist parties that increase their vote share with fascist and racist slogans.

Given that the EU budget was 144 billion euros in 2016, how can the union's inefficacy in averting racism be explained? The same goes for EU countries. Those suffering from economic crises aside Germany, one of the most prosperous EU countries, are witnessing the achievements of racist parties and groups today, which is a complete disgrace for center parties.

Racists consolidate their power and vote share by focusing on eurosceptic arguments since the EU is still regarded as a union that remains short of assuring the EU citizens yet wastes money. EU capital Brussels has so far kept the image of being a capital in which EU citizens' taxes are generously spent. When EU citizens learn about the salaries of EU administrators and officials in Brussels, their reaction to the EU sharpens. As the EU costs EU citizens a heap of taxes but cannot create any solutions for problems encountered in daily life, such as terrorism, unemployment and health care, racist parties and groups are taking advantage of the EU's inefficacy.

Today, nothing is easier than making anti-EU propaganda since the EU upsets the daily lives of people by intervening in subjects at the local level, which they are not supposed to intervene, with an aim to give the impression that they are sorting out some problems although they do not have a common policy regarding economy, defense, security, health, trade and immigration or the refugee issue. Racist groups are playing upon the union's inadequacy.

In a recent interview, former European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that European Parliament member Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French racists, told him that the EU assigns her an official car for her anti-EU stance. As Le Pen says, racist groups and parties are coming into prominence each passing day, thanks to the failure and funds of the EU.

The EU and member countries' governments remain mere spectators to the course of events. Worse, center parties compete with racists by employing racist rhetoric. Seeing the despair and new slogans of center parties, the electorate prefers to vote for true racists since the original is always better than an imitation. Unfortunately, this trend has not changed a bit over the past decade.

We can draw the latest example from Germany. The winner of the federal elections on Sept. 24 is already obvious. The Alternative for Germany (AfD), which perturbs German democrats with its racist slogans, seems likely to become the third largest parliamentary group. They will not only enter the federal parliament, but also take on the role of main opposition. All public surveys show the party's vote share between 11 and 15 percent, which tends to increase considering swing voters.

They did not need to exert much effort to achieve this. They basically owe this to parties like the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens. Although Germany grapples with various problems, the SPD and the Greens have chosen to slam the refugee agreement between Turkey and the EU, Chancellor Angela Merkel who has been faithful to this agreement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey and the Turkish-Germans and Muslims who support Erdoğan. The Greens co-chair even went further and talked against mosques.

All the conditions in this grave picture favor the AfD. Remarks and slogans against Europe, Turkey, Erdoğan, Turks and Muslims have played into the hands of the AfD. On the other hand, the SPD and the Greens are likely to lose the elections.

The rise of racism is ongoing. I hope other EU countries, especially other social democratic and green groups, draw lessons from the upcoming election.

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