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Right-wing fears about the future of the EU

May 9th, 2012

Right-wing analysts ponder the possible consequences of the French and Greek elections, and express concern that the EU may fall into an even deeper political and economic crisis as a result of the strengthening of anti-austerity populism.

The French and Greek elections suggest that Europe is hurtling towards an abyss, Mihály Szalontai writes in Magyar Hírlap. The rise of anti-austerity parties, he suggests, will weaken fiscal rigour in both countries, which will undercut attempts at overcoming the financial crisis through the reduction of debt and deficit.

The right-wing commentator fears that the promises made by Francois Hollande, the newly elected Socialist president of France, which include tax hikes for the rich and the relaxation of  restrictions introduced by President Sarkozy will create tension between Germany and France. It is also possible that Greece will abolish austerity measures, and as a consequence will most likely be kicked out of the monetary union. All this suggests that EU integration will be jeopardized, and the future of the Union will be dominated by the debate among member states, Szalontai fears.

Writing in Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier is also concerned about the probable weakening of solidarity among EU member states. He believes that the moral of the French election is that  responsible fiscal policies pursued by moderate governments create an opportunity for populist parties who come up with unrealistic promises.

Stier points out that the main consequence of the French election will be the end of the fiscal restrictions of the past years. It is however unclear, he writes, what alternative exists to such restrictions. He believes that the economic crisis of the EU will only deepen as the new French president supports fiscal relaxation, while the German government insists on further spending cuts.

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