The beginning of the end – the European Union as we know it may well be here – with many French voters now looking for radical change.
A survey by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation, illustrated that fear of globalisation is the most important factor in pushing European citizens towards populist right-wing parties; and that those fears are most acute in France. The study showed that 54 percent of French citizens view globalisation as a threat.
The results of the survey of 14,936 EU citizens could deepen concerns among mainstream parties in light of the French presidential election next year, in which far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen is expected to do well.
Polls currently place Ms Le Pen and conservative candidate Francois Fillon well in front in the opening round of the presidential election on April 23 – although Mr Fillon is expected to beat Le Pen in May’s second round.
There is a momentum towards the election of a Far Right president in France now; and that would be followed by a referendum on Europe. Which would mean the next Brexit – or #Frexit.
Nigel Farage and new BFF Donald Trump are predicting the end of the European integration project for good.
Farage was reported as saying that “…the anti-elite passions that fuelled both Britain’s Brexit referendum in June and Trump’s victory in the United States are now spreading to France and other countries and may soon splinter the 28-nation EU…If (Marie Le Pen) did win,” said Farage, “it would be the end of the European project.”
He went on to say that the polls now showing Le Pen unlikely to eventually triumph may be just as flawed as the polls that indicated British voters would reject Brexit and those that said U.S. voters would not elect Trump.
Farage sees the spreading anti-establishment fervour as a validation of his 25-year crusade to torpedo European integration.
Meanwhile, Francoise Fillon, the surprise winner of France’s centre-right presidential primary elections, has also laid out how he would improve the crisis-stricken European Union and blames a lack of action from the bloc’s leaders for the vote for Brexit.
He said: “Today Europe at best is inefficient, useless, out fashioned and at worst is an obstacle to our development and our freedom.”
Mr Fillon said there was an identity crisis due to a lack of understanding between the people and the politicians, fuelled by an increase in populism and extremism.“The situation is critical and if we do not want the dream of the founders of a democratic European civilisation open to the world, turn into a nightmare, we must change Europe.”
What do YOU think of the developments in France? Do you think this is the beginning of the end of the EU as we know it? How will these developments affect expats in Spain?