On Sunday 22 May, Austria elected its President in the second round. The results of the two candidates were so close that the election was decided when the voting cards were counted on Monday. The neoliberal, green, bourgeois and democratic candidate, Alexander Van der Bellen, won the second round of the elections with 50.3% against Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer.
The rise of the radical right in Europe raises many questions. The key here is the crisis of European democracies. To counteract this development, the Left is confronted with great challenges: overcoming mass unemployment and nationalism, and defending democracy.
Portuguese politics is in limbo. The good news is that this limbo, the thin ice on which this agreement is skating, also presents an opportunity to engage in clear and clean politics with room for actual negotiation. The bad news for the right wing and its allies is that this thin ice is proving remarkably resilient, the opposite of what they had expected and indeed hoped for.
The dismantling of labour and social rights has gained in strength on the EU political agenda ever since the crisis broke out. This phenomenon, if more acute in the so-called periphery countries, is however to be witnessed everywhere in Europe.
New elections on 26 June raise hopes for an unprecedented political scenario: As Podemos and Izquierda Unida (IU) have reached an agreement, this is the only coalition that could overturn the situation created by the 20 December election. All the polls currently attribute this coalition about 24% of votes – far more than PSOE.
Even though Serbia’s recent elections featured some new candidacies, these “newcomers” are not new at all. The parliamentary landscape continues to look the same, with the same faces cropping up again and again over the past 25 years. Unfortunately, there is no left-wing option which could use current developments and propose an alternative to the current state of affairs.
While nationalists registered a slight decline in votes, the Conservatives achieved a historical breakthrough and the Labour Party suffered a humiliating defeat in a country that has long been its stronghold.
Transformation Strategies: Productive Reconstruction and the Commons
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Video of the Week
Walter Baier from transform! europe talks with TheRealNews about reasons for the outcome of the Austrian presidential election. According to Baier, the political and democratic crisis in Austria coupled with the economic conditions nearly handed the presidency to the far right.