Migrants crossed through a hole in a barbed-wire fence an they ran into the forest at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke last year (AFP Photo/Attila Kisbenedek)
Budapest (AFP) – Hungarians are poised to reject the EU’s troubled refugee quota plan in a referendum on Sunday, as fiercely anti-migrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban rides a populist wave across the bloc.
Following are the main European populist parties that have stoked concerns about the continent’s worst migrant crisis since World War II to boost their support and even enter government in some countries.
– ‘Disgusting worms’ –
– GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered a stinging setback in state elections in Berlin on September 18 in a backlash against her “open-door” refugee policy.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) won seats in the regional parliament with 14 percent of the vote — not far behind the CDU’s 18 percent.
A recently elected Berlin deputy for the AfD reportedly called Syrian refugees “disgusting worms” and said asylum seekers were “parasites which are feeding off the German people”.
Two weeks earlier, the AfD came ahead of the CDU in a northeastern regional poll. It now has seats in 10 out of Germany’s 16 regional parliaments.
– AUSTRIA: The Freedom Party (FPOe) narrowly missed winning a May 22 presidential election. This would have made Norbert Hofer Europe’s first far-right elected head of state since 1945.
However, Hofer will have another stab at winning the election on December 4 after the country’s highest court annulled the May result due to procedural irregularities. He has said Islam “has no place in Austria”.
Austria was located on the so-called Balkan migrant route, which saw hundreds of thousands of people, many fleeing the Syrian war, trek up from Greece towards northern Europe last year.
– SLOVAKIA: In March, the People’s Party Our Slovakia won 14 seats in the country’s 150-seat parliament, four years after it was founded on a platform hostile to the Roma minority, the EU and NATO. Party leader Marian Kotleba has been branded a neo-Nazi by opponents.
Populism has spread into mainstream parties too, with Prime Minister Robert Fico taking one of the EU’s tougher stances on immigration. He has branded the migrant crisis an “onslaught” and called EU migrant policy “ritual suicide”.
– Anti-migrant fences –
– HUNGARY: Orban, head of the right-wing Fidesz party, has organised the October 2 referendum on migrant relocation under an EU quota plan.
In late 2015, Hungary built fences along its borders with Serbia and Croatia to stem the massive tide of migrants. Other countries in the Balkans then followed suit.
Those migrants who do sneak through into Hungary suffer illegal border pushbacks and unlawful detention, Amnesty International said Tuesday.
Orban has called immigration “poison” and has said that “every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk”.
– POLAND: The Law and Justice (PiS) party swept back into power in late 2015 after nearly a decade, playing on fears sparked by the refugee influx.
Its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has said refugees bring “cholera to the Greek islands, dysentery to Vienna, various types of parasites”.
– NORWAY: The Progress Party joined a government coalition in 2013 after winning 16 percent of the vote. The party’s Sylvi Listhaug, immigration and integration minister, has said “the tyranny of kindness is blowing over Norwegian society like a nightmare”.
– DENMARK: The Danish People’s Party won 21 percent of the vote in a 2015 legislative poll. The minority government needs the party’s support to pass legislation.
Denmark introduced a host of measures to deter migrants earlier this year, including allowing police to confiscate some of their valuables to help pay for their accommodation.
– FINLAND: The nationalist Finns Party won 18 percent of the vote in 2015 legislative elections and is now a part of the government coalition, although its popularity has fallen. Party leader Timo Soini is foreign minister.
– Brexit ripple effect –
– BRITAIN: A historic vote on June 23 to leave the EU was the biggest success to date of populist movements since the bloc was founded.
The “Leave” victory was driven in large part by worries about immigration, economic uncertainty and a perception that an out-of-touch Brussels elite was making the rules.
With the Labour Party in crisis, the new head of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP), Diane James, has said she wants the group to become Britain’s main opposition force.
– FRANCE: The National Front (FN) has notched up several local electoral successes since 2012. The FN’s Marine Le Pen has likened the migrant influx to the “barbarian invasions” of the fourth century.
Boosted by the succession of Islamist “terror” attacks in France, polls consistently tip Le Pen to reach the second round of France’s presidential election in 2017.
– NETHERLANDS: The far-right Freedom Party is currently leading polls for a March 2017 legislative vote. The party’s platform calls for a closure of “all mosques and Islamic schools” and “a ban on the Koran.”
Peace and Freedom Note: The migrants are just doing what rational people do when their homes are destroyed, their national economic system is destroyed and nobody in the world seems capable of making things better. They risked their lives to seek better homes, jobs, more money and more food. Obama is to blame. Anf Putin and Merkel. The European Union is to blame.
“What Happened After President Obama Failed To Support His Own Red Line in Syria? He Unleashed Hell”
Peace and Freedom Commentary
Last week we spoke to several U.S. military men and women with intimate familiarity with the situation in Syria.
Most of the mainstream news still covers Syria — though not in a very aggressive way any more.
We spoke at length to one U.S. senior officer who just visited the Aleppo area of Syria. He talked about the mounting civilian death toll, the lack of humanitarian aid and water, and the breakdown of rescue and medical systems. He said Russia and Syria here using incendiary bombs, cluster bombs and perhaps even chemical weapons.
I asked him for his honest opinion on President Obama’s “red line” and what has happened since President Obama failed to enforce his “red line.”
“With that one decision, President Obama unleashed hell,” the senior U.S. officer told us.
“Russia came in on Assad’s side in a big way. Obama said Putin would wind up in a quagmire. That didn’t happen. Syria is now mostly ruined. Refugees have headed out into the world by the thousands with no idea where to go or how to get there. People are dying today in Aleppo because of the failure of America — and specifically the President of the United States. Sometimes, failure to act is the worst possible thing in the world to do.”
“And Assad is still using chemical weapons, our testing tells us. We gained nothing and we lost it all.”
As a Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton had an intimate role in creating the situation the world finds itself in today.
President Obama recently urged his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton. Obama said if they did not vote for Hillary Clinton, he would consider the vote as an insult to his legacy.
Only an idiot could look at the world today, the world largely shaped by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry — and applaud.
Add to that Hillary Clinton’s use of an email system with no security protections whatsoever — and a pile of lies during the cover up — and what Hillary Clinton deserves is a brief trial for treason followed by the appropriate punishment.
“The President Blinked”: Why Obama Changed Course on the “Red Line” in Syria
By PATRICE TADDONIO
May 25, 2015
President Obama pauses while speaking in the White House briefing room on Aug. 20, 2012. In his remarks, the president said use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a “red line.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
In August of 2013, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus was attacked with sarin gas — a nerve agent that causes lung muscle paralysis and results in death from suffocation.
The attack killed 1,400 men, women and children, and at the White House, officials asserted “with high confidence” that the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible.
One year earlier, President Barack Obama had described Assad’s potential use of chemical weapons as “a red line” that would have “enormous consequences” and “change my calculus” on American military intervention in Syria’s civil war.
When Assad appeared to cross that line, Obama ordered the Pentagon to prepare to attack.
“Our finger was on the trigger,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells veteran FRONTLINE correspondentMartin Smith in tomorrow’s new documentary, Obama at War. “We had everything in place and we were just waiting for instructions to proceed.”
But as FRONTLINE details in the below excerpt from Obama at War, the president had second thoughts.
“The president was looking for a way to not have to make good on the threat that he had made,” Col. Andrew Bacevich (Ret.), author of The Limits of Power, tells FRONTLINE. “I think because the president having drawn that red line realized that he had no appetite for direct military engagement in Syria.”
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Tags: AfD, Alternative for Germany, Amnesty International, Angela Merkel, asylum-seekers, Austria, Balkans, Brexit, Britain, CDU, Christian Democratic Union, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Freedom party, Germany, Hungary., Labour Party, Law and Justice, Marine Le Pen, Merkel, migrants, National Front, netherlands, open-borders, PiS, poland, refugees, Slovakia), Syrian refugees, Timo Soini, UK, UK Independence Party, UKIP, Viktor Orban