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The euro-pantheon of authoritarianism The euro-pantheon of authoritarianism
by Thanos Kalamidas
2020-07-17 08:44:37
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Another victory for another far-right, xenophobe populist leader in Europe and after Viktor Orbán and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the re-elected Polish president, Andrzej Duda, comes to add his name in this new age of the European Union. This is the contemporary European pantheon of authoritarianism and it is just the peak of a volcano that has a lot more lava of hate coming.

The new trend with these democratic elected autocrats in: rewrite history heavily embroiled with nationalistic myths and spread fear. So, where is democratic Europe and its membership criteria to all that?

urba001_400The EU Copenhagen criteria for EU membership clearly rules: “Membership requires that candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.” A mandatory and not-negotiable rule for every candidate member and as expected, from every member.

And while – and with all its mess-ups – it worked until 2004 with all new members going through very careful check-ups, in 2004 EU decided to somehow look the other side in the name of the new currency. Purely economic reasons politically pushed aside the criteria and countries with deep prejudice and racism problems, corrupted judicature and troubled democracy, like Poland, Hungary or Lithuania and Estonia became full and equal members of a union that pride democracy, transparency and equality among everything else.

I’m sure some in Brussels thought that the general EU ‘spirit’ will inspire these countries, however it was mimics that appeared all around. In 2015 the country with the reputation of the most transparent and democratic country in EU swallowed by the True/Pure Finns. A far right, xenophobic, often racist, definitely populist and authoritarian. And if their second place in the elections gave them just a part in the coalition government what will happen in the next Finnish elections with the True/Pure Finns already leading all survey, led by a judicially convicted racist. A Viktor Orbán admirer.

There is no freedom of press in Hungary. Neither active opposition hunted and suppressed by the paramilitary groups in the fascist governing Fidesz party. There is plenty of racism started long before Hungary’s membership to EU with the Romani minority their first victim. There is no judicially in Poland with discriminations against gay, Romani, immigrants and refugees is like a …sport for the governing mass. In Estonia the Russian minority is like 4th class non-citizens. In Greece last week the narcissist authoritarian Kyriakos (Koulis) Mitsotakis and the governing party, New Democracy, passed a law through the parliament that forbids demonstrations.

Still, a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel emphasized that the only way for Europe to survive the coronavirus effect is strong economy and economy has been the reasoning for series of catastrophic decisions that put euro over democracy and have let dangerous populist authoritarians like Orbán, Mitsotakis or Hala-aho to flourish constantly hurting democracy.

So, nothing is changing except the continent that was the settler for all kind of hunted for over 70 years and after the nightmare of the WWII returns to the mistakes of the past and the lessons obviously never learned. 

And now the next question is what the future has for Europe? A dystopian authoritarian EU ruled by racist, far-right and anti-democratic regimes that hurts its own people but with a strong euro or ...what else?

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