Friday, April 22, 2011

True Finns

In early nineties, in the debate on the Maastricht treaty, I read some disturbing statements by Helmut Schmidt in which he argued that Europe or the euro is consolidating rapidly and was doomed to failure because the old Germanic nationalism resurface under the chant demagogic it was the Germans who were funding the Union and had to return to the framework as its national currency.

For now, unfortunately this has not happened. But every time the euro is in danger I feel a chill to remember these words of the former chancellor, a politician that I have a deep respect for his intelligence, preparation and cunning. German nationalism, for the moment, has not reappeared.

However, raises alarming outbreaks of a similar nature in other countries, both peripheral, as is the case of monarchies Nordic (Sweden, Norway and Denmark), Holland and Belgium, Austria and Switzerland, as more central, such is the case in France (the National Front reborn Marine Le Pen) and Italy (especially the Northern League, or different shades, the same phenomenon Berlusconi) -.

Certainly there are differences between them, each emphasizes different issues at hand, though similar, but populism is always the common denominator. In this panorama is nurtured and has added in last Sunday's elections, the party of the True Finns, curious name says it all. In fact, the party has taken a huge leap election.

Happened to get just 4% of the votes to get a 19%, multiplying their seats eight: five deputies in the last election now has reached 39. At present, the True Finns is the third game of his country, only slightly surpassed by the conservative National Coalition (20.4% and 44 deputies) and the Social Democratic Party (19.1% and 42 deputies).

The key to this success has been firmly opposed the bailout of Portugal for the EU, a position that overlaps substantially with the Social Democratic Party and other minor parties of left and right and, as opinion polls, also shares half of Finnish citizens. Therefore, in these times of economic crisis, there are signs that European solidarity is fractured, a threat of torpedo on the same line of flotation of the euro and the EU.

On the basis of these new parties opposed to European unification process used to be, as we said, a certain way of approaching political action which is usually called populism. What do we mean by populism? The answer is not easy, so are the realities that the word hides many practical variants.

Let us note, however, some of its basic features. First, populist politicians presume to interpret the genuine will of the people without mediation of any kind. The people, for them, is not the sum of the individuals who constitute a society, but a homogeneous entity without cracking some of which will only populist politician known.

Second, the populist addresses the feelings of the people, not the reason flatters the people and claims to speak on their behalf without following previous rules or democratic processes. Third, the populist politician often asked for simple solutions to complex problems, usually hides the many facets of reality offered and taught only those that are suitable for their purposes.

Adherence to populism is often based on ignorance and the weapon is classic populist demagoguery. Well, the anti-Europeanism, ie, attempts to return to autarchy European states, to put obstacles to the integration and mutual cooperation, reaping the benefits without sharing the problems, usually made from populist forms of political action.

A different question is to disagree with certain European policies, explain the reasons for these differences in a reasoned and accept the result which is reached in the institutions by the majority rule: this is democracy. But appeal to the "good of the people" only taking into account their immediate interests in this case, save to contribute to help save the Union, "without providing further consequences, populism and demagoguery.

The good of the people is the result of a process governed by rules which have to be heard all the parts that people, not a proposal that some light has previously decided not heard more than himself. Populism are dangerous because they are confined to excite the passions, not to use reason to care more convincing win.

The argument of the True Finns, a party which, by definition, is a part of town, is that they, on their word of honor, are the only true Finns. Finns expect others to know that this is not true that the Finns are all true, including the True Finns.

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