When we hear of the far-right in the same sentence as Europe, we picture Matteo Salvini or Marine Le Pen; we certainly don’t need to approach a Scandinavian country like Sweden, or should we?
A recent election in Sweeden nearly saw a far-right party with roots in neo-nazism take power. While this never came to pass, the threat of this was real.
It’s not just Sweeden though…
Far-right movements with anti-immigration messages are on the rise all over Europe. Many of the countries are also countries who took in a lot of asylum seekers during the Syrian Crisis.
For the first time since the death of Franco Francisco in 1975, a far-right party has seats in parliament. For the first time, political party VOX has 24 seats in the Spanish Senate.
The social democrat party defeats the right wind party, the True Finns, by only 0.25%. While relief was a general sentiment, the concern that the gap was so tremendously small and that ultra-nationalists were so close to a victory was eye-opening.
Whose Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, recently won his third term on a campaign that weighed heavily on the subject of immigration. He believes that Europe is “being invaded” and he is adamant that he won’t let the same happen to Hungary
The well known Pro-Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage with a new Brexit Party. Having one of its core foundations firmly set to get the UK out of the EU.
But why the rise of far-right sentiment in Europe? Many supporters of these far-right groups like to highlight three problems they blame on mass immigration.
Crime Loss of Identity Economic Burden
Refugees who did not live in communities dominated by asylum seekers like themselves, assimilated well into the host culture, became integral parts of their communities and formed strong friendships with locals. Regrettably, many countries who took in a large volume of asylum seekers and refugees decided to house them all together in the hope of them being more comfortable if they had communities of similar heritage or backgrounds. This strategy, however, has seen ghettos forming and the crime rates are spiralling out of control.
Countries who advocated inclusion are now seeing a rise of hard nationalism at an alarming rate.
Some European citizens, however, are advocating that perhaps, the reason for the sharp increase in those who support anti-immigration policies are not due to racist reasons but for economic ones.
It has been argued that countries who have taken in a large volume of asylum seekers, now have a more substantial burden on the social welfare schemes.
Is Europe concerned about this rise in hard nationalistic sentiment amongst its citizens?
Why are more people showing support for nationalistic policies in a European Climate?
Can it be that these supporters feel that their government has abandoned them?