This is the first common electoral test since the Great (euro) Crisis begun in 2010, provoking a radical change of the European perspectives - of its hierarchies and of the way it is perceived by the public opinion. This would be just a simple reason to think that these elections count, even if the themes dominating the European elections’ campaign in most of the cases had nothing to do with the EU.
It’s a paradox maybe, but not a surprise, since both party leaders and media have always considered these elections no more than a barometer to gauge local public opinion – all the time with an eye on the much more important national elections. Alarms about a possible rise of the far right, or more generally extreme parties, are no novelty either.
More unusual for sure is the climate in which these elections are taking place: a gloomy one characterized by an economy which is showing few signs of a recovery (last quarterly data say the EU’s GDP grew just an average 0.2 per cent) with the fear of deflation pushing the EBC to announce extraordinary measures for June. Meanwhile, disillusionment and anti-European resentment have been growing. That Eurosceptic forces could gain an unprecedented success is not a remote possibility at all.
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