By Hanif Ghaffari

The rise of right-wing extremists in Europe

January 6, 2018

TEHRAN - The formation of the Austria's coalition government has become a major challenge for other political parties and political groups in Europe. Even in some cases, the presence of the right-wing extremist and the party called "Liberty" in the Austrian government are considered as a constant super-challenge for the Green Continent.

In other words, the formation of a coalition government in Austria is the worst possible news for the moderate-left parties and even moderate conservatives in Europe. The presence of the extremist Freedom Party in the Austrian coalition government will create serious and expanded tensions in Europe. And these tensions will intensify in the second half of 2018 when it's time for the Austria's presidency in the European Union. 

In recent days, we have witnessed the intensified opposition of the European political figures towards the Austrian coalition government. As was argued, most European politicians believe that the existence of a radical right current in Austria's political and executive equations is a nightmare which came true. Moreover, this situation provides the ground for empowering other extremist right-wing parties in European countries.

 The increasing popularity of extremist right-wing politicians has serves as an incentive for this movement to prepare itself for winning the upcoming parliamentary elections in Europe. At the moment, over100far-right politicians are among the representatives in the European Parliament are dependent.

 The presence of a radical right party in the Austrian government could be a prelude to the growth of other extreme right-wing parties in other parts of Europe.The Austrian Freedom Party, in the presence of the Austrian coalition government, has provided grounds for the presence of other extremist right parties in European countries. This is while the populist movements' popularity in countries such as Sweden and Italy had a remarkable growth in polls.

For example, the Swedish Democratic Party (right-wing extremists) and the Five-Star movement in Italy (a populist and anti-European Union movement) have been able to become the most popular parties in public polls. In such a situation, European politicians' concerns about the presence of the Freedom Party in the Austrian government are quite understandable.

 More recently, in a letter published in the French newspaper "Le Monde", European politicians demanded the boycott of the Austrian right-wing government, and in particular the politicians of the extremist party of Freedom (FPÖ). People like former Foreign Minister "Bernard Kouchner" and former Canadian Prime Minister "Campbell" have signed this letter.

 And they warned about the effects of the Freedom Party's presence in the Austrian coalition government and its adverse effects on Europe.In this letter, explicitly, Western politicians have called for the boycott of 6 Austrian coalition ministers (due to their dependence to the Freedom Party). Furthermore, this letter emphasizes that, given the presence of the right-wing extremists in the coalition government of Austria, the country's presidency over the European Union in the second half of 2018 should be called off.

 The adjectives by which the new Austrian authorities are referred to in this letter, show the deep concern of the signatories of the letter about the undergoing changes in Europe. In this letter, the Austrian Chancellor" Sebastien Kurz" and the ministers affiliated with the Freedom Party are referred to as the heirs of Nazism. The fact is that many advocates of the right-wing extremism in Austria, and in particular the Freedom Party, have a nationalist (radical), racist, and anti-immigration approach.Even some of these people are willing to come into physical conflict with immigrants and attack Islamic centers in their country.

In any case, the "restraining the Austrian coalition government" has become a major concern for the European politicians. However, it's clear to everyone that the cost of preventing Austria's periodic presidency of the European Union (as requested in this letter) is very high. In this case, Europe would be standing against the Austrians public opinion. Despite this, the letter could be the starting point for the full opposition of many European politicians to the new Austrian government.

Under such circumstances, efforts by people such as "Jean-Claude Juncker", the head of the European Commission, to make the looming appearance of the Freedom Party in the Austrian coalition government look normal, has been useless.

Obviously, there are deep concerns among many European politicians and citizens about the presence of the Freedom Party in the Austrian coalition government. The silence of senior EU politicians in the formation of a coalition government in Austria has led to the discontent and anger of many European citizens. However, Sebastien Kurz is trying to do his utmost to prevent the continuous tensions between Vienna and Europe. But the fact is that the confrontation between the European politicians and the Austrian coalition government will remain strong at least until the end of 2018.

 As mentioned, this confrontation would reach its peak in the second half of this year and may even lead to severe actions against the Austrian government.In any case, the presence of the right-wing extremists in the Austrian coalition government makes the ground ready for the presence of radical right-wing movements in European countries. This trend can be strengthened in 2018 when right-wing extremists find way to coalition governments in Europe.

On the other hand, the incompatibility of Austria with other European countries regarding the quota of refugees and asylum seekers will inevitably lead to social crises due to the inappropriate distribution of asylum seekers in Europe. Hence, we should wait to see the formation of a tough confrontation between the Austrian government and other European countries over the issue of asylum seekers.

 This confrontation will reach its peak in the second half of 2018, when Austria will be the President of the European Union. Undoubtedly, within six month, the Austrian Freedom Party will use all its capabilities to impose its demands against refugees and asylum seekers to the United Europe.

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