There are just 12 days left for the European Parliament elections scheduled for May 23-26.
Although it is expected to have larger participation compared to national elections, it will see lesser enthusiasm. Other than some colorful candidates in certain countries, interest is low in general. The voters have a point.
Most voters don't know the difference between European Commission president and the European Council president. They don't know who does what. Most Members of Parliament candidates for the European Parliament are names that are unpopular or even unknown in their countries. If you were to ask the voters on streets, they wouldn't even be able to name three of them. The situation is a bit different in Italy though. Two relatives of the former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini are rather popular, but mostly due to their surnames.
Alessandra Mussolini, who was a candidate and had won five years prior to Silvio Berlusconi's "Forza Italia" party, is again a candidate. Alessandra Mussolini was preferred by 80,000 voters five years ago and she once again trusts the power of her surname. And she is not without a point! With each passing day, the Italians are discovering new "good sides" of the fascist dictator, whose body was once displayed hanging from his feet.
Probably because of that reason, one of the grandchildren of Mussolini; Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini has emerged as a candidate for the Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brotherhood) party, which was formed by the merging of the old National Union and Neo-fascist MSI. In fact, he is trusting the "charm" of his great-grandfather so much that his propaganda slogan is "write Mussolini."
The person that benefits the most from the popularity of those with the Mussolini surname is another Mussolini supporter! As if to say "Mussolini is dead, long live Salvini," Lega President Matteo Salvini, who has his eyes set on "Mussolini votes" is watching the struggle between two "little" Mussolini's with delight. He is successful too! The far-right groups in southern Italy have already decided to support promising Salvini instead of ineffective Mussolini. Indeed the European Parliament elections are not as interesting as in Italy. However, the real surprise came last week.
Mutual candidate of conservatives Manfred Weber and the mutual candidate of the Social Democrats Frans Timmermans have been running election campaigns for weeks. Both are declaring that they will be European Commission president if they win the election. For example, Weber is promising that he will be "sopping Turkey's EU membership candidacy and the EU will be a Christian union.
On the other hand, Frans Timmermans is promising that it is going to be an entirely different EU if he is to be elected commission president. What is even funnier is the fact that one of the people who is making these promises is already working as EU Commission vice-president.
In my opinion, both are treating the voters as idiots. Because both know very well that EU Commission president forms the commission through certain balances and with EU commissars that they do not determine. It is also a well-known fact that they do not stand a chance against EU capitals and leaders like Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron. Because of this reason, they appear as if they are "telling stories" to the voters that are clueless about the EU.
However, the real surprise is the fact that both Weber and Timmermans are not going to be the EU Commission president! It is clear that Timmermans' chance to come out of the elections as No. 1 is "0." Against this, it is clear for Weber to be the No. 1.
Nevertheless, EU leaders have begun a new feud in a meeting that they participated on Europe Day. Many EU member state leaders voiced their opposition about making the winner of the EP elections the EU Commission president. This subject will be addressed again on May 28. The situation is not so bright for Weber. Even though the German Chancellor Merkel said, "She is standing behind Weber." The sad truth is that nobody is behind Merkel anymore! Already the name of another candidate is being pronounced backstage. However, let's leave it for our next article.