Europe and the year 2017

The year 2017 could prove to be a politically tumultuous year of changes for Europe.

In April-May 2017 we will see the French presidential elections that could herald the assumption of power for the rightist FN party. Next week, 13 December, we will have the final runoff results of the regional election and they should indicate a trend.

In October 2017 the German Federal elections are scheduled and, although Merkel is planning to run again for Chancellor, chances of that happening are looking doubtful and, if she does run, it is unlikely she would win. The migrant crisis has taken an enormous toll on her personal popularity and that of her party, the CDU. Consequently she is facing growing discontent and opposition within the CDU and calls for her resignation. So much for Time’s selection of Person of the Year.

Then, if the UK Conservative Party follows through on its promise of a referendum, the British will decide whether to remain in the EU. An “out” vote would really throw a spanner in the works in the EU.

All three of these polls have common threads: the migrant crisis and dissatisfaction with the EU, above all immigration. As a commentator on BBC world today said, the number one worry in Europe today are the migrants, more so than the economy.



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