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The Trend of Middle-Of-The-Road in Europe

Posted September. 05, 2002 22:15,   


There is a middle-of-the-road trend in Europe, which is in the heat of general elections.

The recent issue of the weekly newsmagazine Newsweek reported that middle-of-the-road leaders were spotlighted in all over Europe including 4 countries like Germany, which would have general elections this month. On the other hand, the far right parties, which were powerful in the first half of this year in Europe, are losing their power rapidly because of people’s disappointment about interior disruption and radical policies.

In Germany that will have a general election on the 22nd, the Candidate of the Social Democratic Party Gerhart Schroder, which has been changed from his neo-middle-of-the-road policy, is struggling to the Candidate of the Association of the Christian Democratic and the Christian Socialist Party Edmundt Schteuber. For Candidate Schroder, it is analyzed that his policy to represent the labor unions, which is his support base, is one of the causes for the voters to turn their back on him.

In Sweden, where an election is planned in the 15th, the Candidate of the Social Democratic Party Goran Person (current Prime Minister), who is a middle-of-the-roader, is predicted to win overwhelmingly.

The far right powers, which were in control in the first half of this year in countries like France and the Netherlands, are rapidly collapsing. In the Netherlands, after the assassination of a far right politician Pim Fortuyn in April, although the List Party, which he led, succeeded to extend their control of the power at the general election on July, it failed to produce candidates of ministers because of serious interior disruption. A pan-European movement to refuse radical politicians is getting bigger. The European Union (EU) and the NATO announced that they would refuse to accept Slovakia, which will have a general election on the 21st, as a member country if the Candidate of the far right Democratic Slovakia Movement (MDS) Vladimir Mesiar were elected. In Macedonia as well, it will be difficult to join the EU and the NATO if the Candidate of the Albanian separatist party United Democratic Association (DUI) is elected.

The experts consider the recent heat of the middle-of-the-road in Europe is on the extended line of ‘The Third Way,’ which was professed by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the middle of 90’s.

A professor of the London School of Economy (LSE) Robert Taylor said, “The era of ideology in Europe is disappearing,” and “only the practical politicians, who are not bound to either left or right wing, can survive.”

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com