“The European Union is dead, but it does not know this yet,” Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, proclaimed recently.
She also tweeted: “The EU is dead. It has failed on all fronts. And an experiment that fails to protect us from terrorism should come to an end”.
The New York Times adds “in many corners of Europe; there is a growing anxiety that the populist wave cannot be reversed,” and that the union is being “squeezed between revisionist Russia and President Trump’s “America First,” and demoralized by Britain’s shocking vote for Brexit.” France Presidential elections take place in April and May. The first round is on 23 April, then the two leading candidates face each other in a runoff on 7 May.
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Perhaps, most telling is a poll by the British poll agency YouGov in January that found that 81 percent of the French, 68 percent of Britons and 60 percent of Germans expected a major terrorist attack to take place in their country this year. These are real concerns backed by real numbers.
Le Pen is clearly on to something here. Although the economies of some European countries are starting to recover, the vast majority of the populace are placing terrorism and immigration issues at the forefront much in the same way that voters in the U.S. did in the last election.