The rise of the far-right in different European parliaments, the new round of military threats fueled by the possible US withdrawal of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the US and Russia, and the recent yellow-vest movement speak volumes of threats facing the Green Continent. Europe’s political, economic and military stability that has prevailed in the continent for more than half a century is in danger. This comes as the anti-immigration, anti-feminist Vox Party’s unexpected victories sent shockwaves through Spanish politics. Last month the tiny Vox Party became the first far-right group to win seats in Andalucía since Spain’s return to democracy following the death of General Franco in 1975. The yellow-vest protesters are angry with rising living costs and proposed tax hikes in France. Protests continued in Paris as rioters on Saturday set fire to cars, burn barricades and smashed windows in pockets of violence across the city centre. Police reinforcements were boosted to 8,000 across the city, with armored vehicles deployed in Paris for the first time ever. On Sunday night more than 650 protesters were detained in France, as riots continued into the evening. Nationwide, 89,000 police officers were on duty in towns, cities and on numerous motorways which caused havoc on France’s road network, including a blockade of a border crossing with Spain. The yellow-vest movement that began in this country in mid-November has now crossed borders and spread to other European countries like the Netherlands and Belgium even though neither country has proposed a hike in fuel tax — the catalyst for the destructive demonstrations in France in recent weeks. The leaders of the leftist parties in Germany have now thrown their weight behind the yellow-vest movement in France, saying that they are against economic injustice in European countries, a statement that would likely lead to yellow-vest finding foothold in Germany, too. Sahra Wagenknecht, the head of the Left Party faction in the Bundestag, expressed support for the yellow-vest. She thinks it is right for people to defend themselves and protest when politics makes their lives worse. In Germany, the growing support for far-right policies and the Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) Party have undermined the country’s traditional political powerhouses of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democrats. The election of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, seen as Merkel’s successor, as the leader of the ruling CDU Party is a big gift for the AfD to further press ahead for its policies. Winfried Kretschmann, a popular politician and minister president of the state of Baden-Württemberg, believes that democracy in Germany and all over Europe is facing a serious crisis now because you see far-right movements emerging in various forms everywhere.
The leaders of the leftist parties in Germany have now thrown their weight behind the yellow-vest movement in France, as they are against economic injustice in European countries.