“Salvini’s nationalism and Macron’s globalism are the two competing visions of Europe’s future,” writes Christopher Caldwell in The Spectator (“Macron vs Salvini: the ideological battle for Europe’s future”).
The most interesting paragraph in the piece pertains to an incipient, anti-immigration, Alt-Left materializing — something that is long overdue in Europe and mysteriously absent in the U.S.
Even the European left is showing signs of questioning its commitment to open borders. In Germany, the Marxist Sahra Wagenknecht of the Left party has started Aufstehen, a popular front meant to woo back working-class voters turned off by the globalist dogmas, including free-and-easy immigration. Denmark’s Social Democrats have rallied behind a stern plan to impose on migrants the Danish language and Danish values. Their counterparts in Sweden, who admitted a quarter of a million migrants over two years after 2015, have recanted, tightening asylum policies in the run-up to this weekend’s nationwide elections. The nationalistic and bluntly anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are set to make big gains nonetheless.
RE the Eye of Soros:
Salvini is good with language. He has managed to reframe humanitarianism as criminality. He colourfully describes the non-governmental organisations that transport migrants at sea as being bound up in the same ‘business’ as the mafiosi who guide them on land. A would-be African immigrant no longer needs to hire a boat that can get him to Europe — all he needs is a boat that can get him to the charitable rescue ship, funded by some billionaire, that you can see from the North African coast. ‘They won’t see Italy unless they see it on a postcard,’ he promises.
Salvini has relished confronting the billionaire George Soros, accusing him of using his charities ‘to fill Italy and Europe with migrants’. Attacking the Hungarian-born Soros is a rhetorical gambit that Orbán has long relished…
With respect to next spring’s elections:
Border-defending governments have come to power in Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic, and Trump’s quondam adviser Steve Bannon is now working to foster co-operation between nationalist movements, including Salvini’s, in the run-up to next May’s European elections.
Things are moving fast.