By: Steve Dellar | 01-27-2018 | News
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Europe Turns Anti-Immigrant As Zeman Takes Czech Republic

To the surprise of many in the European Parliament in Brussels, Mr Milos Zeman has just been re-elected as President of the Czech Republic. The pro-Russian and harshly anti-immigrant leader is another headache for both Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany (if she is able to form a new government) and Emmanuel Macron of France, who are widely seen as the current leaders of Europe.

The election in the Czech Republic, one of the Eastern European countries that has done very well since throwing off Soviet rule in the revolution of 1989, reflected divisions between low-income voters with lower education, who tended to vote for Mr Zeman, and the wealthier and well-educated residents of bigger cities, who preferred the pro-European views of Mr Drahos.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Take a look at multiple <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#charts</a> displaying how populist-right parties are redrawing the <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#map</a> of <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Europe</a>: <a href=""></a> via <a href="">@bbgvisualdata</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#datavisualization</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#politics</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AnyChart (@AnyChart) <a href="">December 26, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The affirmation of Mr Zeman, who held of liberal candidate Mr Jiri Drahos with a win of some 52% after taking the first round by a 10% margin (presidential elections in the Czech Republic are comparable to those in France. Multiple candidates in the first round, only two remain in the second round) means that there is now a line from north to south Europe where every country has an anti-immigrant leadership.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It’s the right-wing part that has redrawn politics this year–including the recent election ofA. Babis as Czech prime minister. These parties have combined populist, nativist, and authoritarian strains in a mix. Latvia&#39;s vote share- 20%) <a href=""></a> via <a href="">@bbgvisualdata</a></p>&mdash; Gaida Matisone (@GaidaMatisone) <a href="">January 18, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria now all have anti-immigrant parties or leaders in office, making it seem quite impossible for the EU to get a fair divide of the immigrants still arriving on the Italian island of Sicily.

Furthermore, should the anti-immigrant party of Lega Nord in Italy, which is thinking of forming a coalition with the Forza Italia conservative party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi win the election in the spring (and polls look hopeful), Europe’s right-wing shift will be complete.


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