The Dutch elec­tions and Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

France and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Ger­many, where lo­cal anti-EU pop­ulists would win or, at least, de­ter­mine devel­op­ments. In the end, Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte’s pro-EU party won the most seats (33 in the 150-seat par­lia­ment), al­though it lost eight from the pre­vi­ous elec­tion; Wilders’s party gained five seats (for a to­tal of 20) and took sec­ond place. Jeroen Di­js­sel­bloem’s La­bor Party crashed from sec­ond place to seventh, ben­e­fit­ing smaller par­ties. The elec­tions showed, first, that how­ever at­trac­tive domino the­o­ries are they’re al­ways dicey (older readers will re­mem­ber the Amer­i­can ar­gu­ment that if South Viet­nam were to fall there would be a domino ef­fect in South­east Asia); sec­ond, in democ­ra­cies to­day there is a strong trend to­ward the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem’s frag­men­ta­tion. The dis­so­lu­tion of the cen­ter strength­ens mar­ginal forces, as we saw in Greece when the cri­sis erupted. This de­mands greater co­op­er­a­tion be­tween par­ties just as con­di­tions make con­sen­sus ever more dif­fi­cult. In the Nether­lands, de­spite a long tra­di­tion of coali­tion gov­ern­ments (be­cause of their pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion elec­toral sys­tem), there will be hard bar­gain­ing for an agree­ment. Wed­nes­day’s re­sults fa­vor a coali­tion of proEU forces, but Wilders’s anti-Is­lamic, anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric has been adopted to some de­gree by var­i­ous other par­ties, which could com­pli­cate talks be­tween likely part­ners. Also, in Greece we have learned that when more par­ties adopt ex-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.