Conservatives Cornered In Eastern Europe After Record Low In Germany

Conservatives cornered in Eastern Europe after record low in Germany

The Social Democrat Olaf Scholz caresses the German Chancellery. The victory, by less than two points In the legislative elections this Sunday, they will place him in the Foreign Ministry if he manages to close an agreement, which is expected to be hard and long to negotiate, with Greens and Liberals. The CDU / CSU candidate, with just over 24%, has left the party at historical lows, although the numbers could come out to form a majority, also, with Greens and Liberals, in an unusual but not unprecedented move in the German history – that who was second forms Government.

But if everything develops normally and the Social Democrats head the new German Executive, they will exacerbate the decline of the European ‘popular’ at a time when they are torn between the Christian-Democratic essences represented by Angela Merkel and the right-wing populist ramblings with whom they the Austrian Sebastian Kurz flirts – with migration, for example – and the Slovenian Janesz Jansa, for example – defender of Donald Trump to the end and a companion in the efforts of the authoritarian governments of Hungary and Poland.

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If you look at the development of the European political map of the last decade, you can see electoral changes in Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy, France … It is true that in these years some country has recovered, such as Greece, and that some of the governments lost by the popular have passed into liberal hands.

In fact, if the Christian Democrats finally lose the German Chancellery, they will have been left not only without the power of the main European economy, but also outside the heads of government of the six founding countries of the EU: Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

And, in parallel, the European right is cornered in the East of the EU. Indeed, the eight countries with heads of government popular In the European Council, without counting Merkel, who is leaving, are: Croatia, Latvia, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The popular Europeans drag an ideological debate that resulted in the recent departure from Viktor Orbán’s party, Fidesz, at the beginning of the year. For a long time, the EPP kept someone inside who gave it a comfortable seat on the European Council. And the great party that has endured the most in the face of the drift of the extreme right has been Merkel’s CDU, key in the expulsion of Fidesz, against Pablo Casado’s PP, a regular partner in the European Parliament of the authoritarian governments of Poland and Hungary in voting on the rights of women, the LGTBI collective and abortion. Like Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, which entered the popular European family at the hands of José María Aznar at the end of the 90s.

The President of the European Parliament, the Italian David Sassoli (PD / S & D), has been the first representative of a European institution to publicly celebrate the victory: “Europe needs a strong and reliable partner in Berlin to continue our common work for a recovery. social and green “.

The correlation of forces that opens up if the change of government is completed in Germany may have consequences on the balances of the European institutional positions that are renewed mid-term, in particular that of the presidency of the European Parliament, which was agreed two years ago years, when the conservative family had more power over the Social Democrats.

In the second half of the legislature, which begins in January 2022, it was planned that the president of the European Parliament would be Manfred Weber, president of the popular in the European Parliament and candidate to preside over the European Commission who fell in the final negotiations in favor by Ursula von der Leyen. Weber, from the CSU, gave way to Von der Leyen, from the CDU, and the presidency of the European Parliament in the second half of the legislature was left as a consolation prize.

But Weber now says that he does not want to be president of the European Parliament, and enters the game of chairs that Donald Tusk, president of the European People’s Party, had started. family politics, because he wants to surrender to the politics of his country. Tusk was Polish prime minister for two terms, but after his departure the political hegemony in the country has turned to the homophobic and authoritarian right of PiS, a Vox allied party in Europe.

Tusk’s departure from the EPP presidency, which will become official in the spring of next year, wants to be covered by Weber, who would unite in one person the presidency of the EPP party and the EPP parliamentary group. Which causes, incidentally, that the candidate leaves vacant popular

to the presidency of the European Parliament from January 2022.

And, in some way, it partially changes the conditions of the pact with socialists and liberals in the summer of 2019. Now, in what is going to happen the electoral result of Germany and its consequences in the future of the family conservative politics and, therefore, in the near future of Manfred Weber and the Spaniard Esteban González Pons.

The pools placed Esteban González Pons in a good place. The Spanish already had in 2019 the possibility of presiding over the group popular in the European Parliament with the passage of Weber to the European Commission. Now, Pons, taking into account the speech that Casado’s PP has practiced against the Government in Europe since the beginning of the legislature, is he an easy candidate to digest for the European socialist bench, chaired by a Spanish woman like Iratxe García? Sources popular consider that it may be easier to sell in Spain than another candidate; but other sources, on the contrary, point out that precisely the words of Casado in an act in Berlin are a sign that the understanding between PP and PSOE in Brussels is not easy.

The Social Democrats do not feel that they are due to the 2019 summer pact for two reasons: because the candidate will no longer be Weber and because the balance of forces in Europe is changing in their favor and to the detriment of the EPP.

Iratxe García, president of the European socialist group in the European Parliament, said in Strasbourg: “Today we have another series of priorities regarding the agreement, and we must see what the political circumstances are at all times. Does anyone really Do you think that the political situation in Europe today is the same as it was two and a half years ago? Political situations change, political balances change. That does not mean that the decisions that were taken at the time are not accepted. But right now We have to assess many issues and obviously it is important to maintain cooperation between the European political forces in the European Parliament. We are aware of this and we are going to work for it. It is still too early to make a decision regarding the future in the distribution of the responsibilities of the European Parliament “.

In this sense, if the numbers were to come out, it could be hypothesized that the Socialists would be encouraged to try to get Sassoli to repeat as candidate in January. But that will depend on the names that move the popular, to what extent the liberals will vote en bloc … And it is that in the European Parliament group discipline is not like in national parliaments, and the vote for the president of the European Parliament is individual and secret – and there are hurt deputies with Sassoli for his decision to abolish the economic allowances while the European Parliament was with limited presence due to the pandemic.

Another side effect of the new European correlation of forces may be how the reform of European fiscal rules, which force debt and deficit ceilings, now runaway by the coronavirus crisis, will be approached. And, in principle, it may not be the same with a Social Democratic chancellor of another color.

Of course, if the liberal party and its leader, Christian Lindner, have a relevant role in economic policy, it will have consequences for Spain. Lindner is in tune with the club of the self-described frugal – the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden; In other words, it shares the ordoliberal creed of budget restraint, austerity, and distrust in southern countries. For now, he has already announced that he does not want the tax rules to be modified.

In fact, members of the socialist ranks in Brussels warn about the consequences of a pact with the FDP while the CDU can pass to the opposition, which would be a scenario in which the liberals would have a government quota and would put the brake on expansive policies in the EU, while Christian Democrats would find themselves pressing from outside, both in the German Parliament and in the European institutions.

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