“There’s no crying in baseball!”
— A League of Their Own
The Great Realignment is coming to Europe next year. All the writing is on the wall.
This summer saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel survive a leadership challenge by her coalition partner Horst Seehofer over her immigration policy.
She needs political wins to maintain her hold on power. Standing firm against President Trump on the Nordstream 2 pipeline and having a cordial summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is a good start.
Because most of Europe is tired of 1) Germany setting policy for the entire EU and 2) anti-Russian sanctions killing their trade.
But week-long protests in the Saxony town of Chemnitz over the stabbing of a local man are dogging her. Germany’s polling numbers continue ebbing away from Merkel.
The more she is weakened the more emboldened her opposition becomes.
Cue Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Hungarian President Viktor Orban. They met to openly strategize over ending open migration into the EU. On the surface Italy and Hungary seem at odds on this issue.
Italy wants its borders closed and its migrants distributed throughout Europe.
Hungary steadfastly refuses to take even one migrant.
This dichotomy is what the European media and politicians think will keep these two rising titans in conflict.
But, as Mike Shedlock pointed out recently at Townhall.com, these two men have bigger goals which they are in total agreement on — securing their borders to preserve their cultural and national identities.
That’s why Salvini is calling for “A League of Leagues” across Europe. He will succeed.
This is the guy who successfully rebranded the secessionist Northern League into the MIGA party – Make Italy Great Again.
Then he and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio navigated the Italian Swamp to form a government experts said couldn’t work, while simultaneously neutering establishment stalking horse Silvio Berlusconi.
Thanks to Salvini’s strategic genius Italian politics will never be the same again. His League now polls around 30%, which bodes well for it in next year’s European Parliamentary Elections.
Because now his sights are MEGA – Make Europe Great Again.
The quisling European media pounce breathlessly whenever there is a perceived difference of opinion between Salvini and Di Maio, portraying the coalition as weak and tenuous.
Talks between Orban and Salvini were reported alongside Di Maio’s call for migrant burden sharing across the EU. This is to sow discord where there is none.
The two are in lock-step in confronting Brussels over its IMF-backed austerity program. They rightly see it as destroying Italy’s economy and its culture. The program is no different than the one imposed on Greece and is destroying Argentina again, whose currency imploded last week.
They hope this wave of populism sweeping Europe is just a tantrum that eventually will end in tears.
But, there’s no crying in power politics.
Neither Salvini nor Orban are weak men given to fits of doubt. And their forming an alliance here is bigger than grandstanding on immigration policy.
With Merkel weak they will isolate French President Emmanuel Macron, make him their nemesis and remake the European Parliament after next year’s elections.
Because the real goal is to take control of the European Commission Presidency, ousting the odious Jean-Claude Juncker.
A “League of Leagues” would unite sovereigntist parties across Europe under one party in the European Parliament. The European People’s Party rules alongside the Social Democrats in a German-style grand coalition that stands for nothing except more centralized control by EU technocrats.
Salvini and Orban want other the Visigrad countries as well as Austria to form the basis for this coalition.
Is it enough? The 800 lb. Gorilla in this room is Alternative for Germany (AfD). The official opposition party in the Bundestag, AfD will pick up seats in the European Parliament where they currently have just one.
They are the wild card in this gambit by Salvini and Orban.
As I’ve discussed in the past, AfD is in the process of “Crossing the Chasm” from minor party to major one. The latest polls, now nearly a month old, have AfD polling between 16 and 18% nationally.
If AfD has a League-like surge from the mid-teens to 30% support, Merkel’s government will fall.
AfD will enter the EU parliament with a tailwind to see Salvini and Orban’s wish fulfilled.
This is why the protests in Chemnitz are important. It’s why AfD’s rise in CSU-dominated Bavaria is so important.
Public frustration with immigrant violence could shift the German electorate between now and May’s elections that far as more and more Germans embrace local community pride.
Then there’s the Trump Factor.
The harder Donald Trump pushes EU leadership to actually lead at home the more they are exposed as weak fools. Despite Juncker, Merkel and Macron talking a good game, European companies are abandoning their business with Iran over Trump pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA.
The more they try to scuttle Brexit and reveal themselves as anti-democratic globalists, the worse the blowback on them is getting.
The new Spanish government willing to discuss greater Catalonian autonomy versus jailing everyone they can and cracking the skulls of old women on the streets of Barcelona.
Images like that are the face of Merkel’s EU. So are the people in Chemnitz, dressed in black, wearing placards with the pictures of victims of migrant violence on them in silent vigil.
This isn’t a tantrum. This is real emotion. Real consequence.
Their tears are real and they are not for sale.
The markets always bet that those in power will remain in power. The euro refuses to handicap these shifts in the political winds. No one in power wants it to fall too far too fast, or like Merkel, at all.
Because a strong euro to her is the main mechanism for keeping her opposition weak, blaming profligacy and sloth of Italians when it is the mis-pricing of Italian labor via the same over-valued euro that is the reason why Italy cannot grow. out of its debts.
By forming an alliance to reform the EU from within, Salvini and Orban counter that argument while taking the politically-viable path given the strong popular support the EU still has with many voters.
It gives Salvini the cudgel to bludgeon the EU over its intransigence on budget matters. It allows him to say, “See, I don’t want to leave the euro, but Brussels won’t negotiate for a better Italy.”
And given this guy’s track record so far, I wouldn’t bet against him making his case to angry European voters this winter.
And then it’ll be the globalists who will be crying.
Sorry, but the “800-lb gorilla” is the Italian budget. Despite all the Salvini/DiMaio promises and boasts, their proposed massive deficit-financed tax cuts and public spending remain a no-show. However, financial market fears about these plans have not proved so elusive. Yes, it’s all a “conspiracy” and “plot” against Italy they whine.
Dopey Di Maio finally had to admit publicly that Italy’s own constitution presently precludes his blowing up the country’s finances – hence Salvini going on the attack outside of Italy’s borders.
Salvini spent most of his career blaming Italy’s ills on the South (lazy thieves we were told). Now, he blames everything on Brussels, the ECB and the EUR (financial market conspiracies against BTPs aside). Zzzzzzz…
Glad there are still scapegoats available for this crew. They’ll be in trouble when those run out (or away).
You seriously don’t get it. But, thanks for chiming in. There was in 2 years a more than 50% shift in polling among Italians. That signals anything is possible with respect to the Italian constitution, Italy’s relationship with the EU and the future of Europe.
But, keep talking up the status quo’s position. You’re arguing like these guys have been in power for 4 years and done nothing… it’s less than 4 months.
The only “status quo” are those promising everything to every one and then, those dumb enough to believe those promises.
If you want a “revolution”, bring a chequebook – not jargon (“the elites”, “the deep state”, “the globalists”, “the deep state” etc. etc.)
That is irrelevant to the situation in Europe. The structure of the EU and the euro was always going to hollow out the Italian, Greek and Spanish economies. Single currency regimes are ruinous, period.
If you want a better society put down the resentment and get the hell out of the way of people trying to improve the situation. Salvini explicitly understands what the problem is. Di Maio? Not so much.
But, politics is never easy. It’s not cut-and-dried. So, the transition is messy, but the fact that The League is out-polling M5S now tells you the Italians are on the right path away from the politics of envy and ‘gimme’ to the politics of ‘leave us alone.’
One might almost think that the UK’s desperate rearguard action to wriggle out of Brexit is to start WW3 with the Bogeyman…..desperate times. Never before has Europe been so fractured.
You must log in to post a comment.