Comment: There are many factors that are fueling the rise of nativist right-wing populist parties in Europe. One of these is the global economic recession after September 2008, which was triggered by the bankruptcy of US banking group Lehman Brothers. Another factor has been the lack of any effective opposition to a message that aims to polarize society further.
The rise of xenophobia in Finland, for example, has been fueled by the Perussuomalaiset and little to no opposition by the media to their xenophobic message, according to a doctoral dissertation by Camila Haavisto.
Wilt Hutton’s column below attempts to answer the main challenges facing Europe on the right-wing populist front. He writes: “The trouble is that the longer the left’s response is confused, the more the populist right has begun to make anti-immigrant attitudes culturally acceptable (in Europe).”
Probably the first question we should ask is why the message of right-wing populist parties, which the PS is a part of, are unacceptable in today’s Europe?
Like much of the ongoing debate, your view depends on where you stand: Are you a target or the one attacking immigrants? Are you white or black? Muslim or Christian?
How do you think Europeans should address the right-wing populist message and challenge?
Immigration: The longer the left’s response is confused, the more the populist right begins to make xenophobia acceptable. It is hard not to be very uneasy. Every month, there is another milestone passed in the ever onward march of Europe’s populist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, nativist right.
Here is a comprehensive story by HBL (in Swedish) on the rise of right-wing populism in Europe.