- Sputnik International, 1920
Enjoy in-depth, acute analysis of the most pressing local, regional and global trends at Sputnik!

‘They’ve Had Enough’: Stagnant Economy Driving Electoral Turmoil in Europe

© AFP 2023 / BERTRAND GUAYFrance's President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on June 24, 2024.
France's President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on June 24, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.07.2024
Voters are fed up with leaders' fixation on war in Ukraine to the exclusion of working class concerns, according to one analyst.
“It’s the economy, stupid.”
The well-known catchphrase, coined by political strategist James Carville, encapsulated the salience of the economy during Bill Clinton’s campaign for the US presidency in 1992. With much of Western world in recession, Clinton successfully rode an economic message to the White House as President George H.W. Bush was cast as aloof to the struggles of working class Americans.
Now, as European powers focus on backing Ukraine’s proxy war against Russia, Western leaders have seemingly forgotten the importance of voters’ material concerns, argues security analyst David Oualaalou. The international affairs expert joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Wednesday to react to the rise of anti-establishment right-wing parties throughout the continent.
“The reality is on the ground following, for example, the elections in France,” said Oualaalou, referring to the first round of parliamentary elections in the country where President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party came in a distant third place. “I intend to call my family tomorrow just to have a conversation with them because they are there in Paris and I’m going to talk to them. But this is a clear indication where things are headed, that the era of Macron is over.”
“This is what you’re seeing the Europeans are doing right now – the population, that is,” he continued. “They’ve had enough. They’ve had enough. And the election is now a reflection of this.”
French President Emmanuel Macron. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.07.2024
Macron's Party to Withdraw Some of Its Candidates From 2nd Round to Fight Le Pen - PM
The economic situation is perhaps most dire in Germany, which suffered a recession in 2023 and may be in the midst of another, according to economists. The country, traditionally the industrial powerhouse of Europe, has suffered disproportionately as sanctions on Russian energy have taken a bite out of the manufacturing sector.
“The Ukraine war shut off Germany’s access to cheap Russian energy,” noted an article Tuesday on the website The Greanville Post. “The lethal blow was the American destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, with broad European-wide consequences.”
“I just read a survey this morning that Germany lost 3 billion dollars,” noted Oualaalou. “You know what the losses are in? In theft. People were stealing. Why were they stealing? It’s because the prices went up beyond what they can afford. $3 billion for the year of 2023.”
“The moment they embarked on following the US blindly with the sanctions against Russia, it backfired on them.”
If the right comes to power in Germany, France, and elsewhere in the Western world, they will be tasked with addressing voters’ material needs in ways establishment politicians have proven unable to. Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni’s approval rating has fallen to 41% as the conservative leader, previously feared as a radical populist, has accommodated herself to the mainstream European political establishment’s support of the war in Ukraine.
The politician’s transformation into a largely conventional figure on matters of foreign policy demonstrates the power of the continent’s pro-war establishment to mold leaders of diverse ideologies to their will. If Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, and other populist insurgents are to succeed where the Italian head of state has failed they’ll need to keep James Carville’s maxim in mind, taking care to tend to citizens’ economic concerns rather than becoming co-opted by the pro-war interests.
Gas leak at Nord Stream 2 as seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm, Denmark September 27, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.04.2024
International Investigation Into Nord Stream Terror Attack Needed - Russian UN Envoy
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала