WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Europe Is Eroding from the South.
The insight here is that people looking at the elections in Netherlands and France and finding hope for the future are looking at things wrong. The erosion of the European project isn’t happening yet in the north, which by and large benefits from the euro; It is the south where the twin impacts of slow growth and feckless migration policy are corroding once rock-solid support for the EU.
Italians used to look to Europe as a kind of savior: the Italian state was corrupt and inept, but Brussels would set a higher standard, and by loyal support for the EU, Italy could rise above its own problems. These days, the EU looks more like an anchor than a lifejacket, as a recent Italian poll bears out. Not only is the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement Italy’s most popular party, but the combined support for Five-Star, Lega Nord, and Forza Italia—all hostile to varying degrees to the current euro project and to the German vision behind it—totals nearly 60%. That is significant by any measure, indicating a dramatic shift in perceptions that portends serious danger for the European project today.
Well, Europe’s political class is even worse than ours, and the EU structure gives it more power.