To speak about a performance low seems ludicrous when it comes to English forward Harry Kane in the shirt of Bayern Munich.
It has been clear for some time that the Far-Right in Europe is preparing to make the decisive leap from the fringe of political existence to centrestage. It has also been clear that such parties in various European nations may be working from a common script, at least as far as issues such as migration and LGBTQ+ rights are concerned. In July 2021, sixteen of them had come together to sign a declaration against the political direction being taken by the European Union. Rightists rule in Hungary and Italy, and it is now becoming clear that snap elections called by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, after he suffered severe losses in regional and local elections in May, may see another right-wing combination seize power. If pollsters are right, the neo-fascist Vox Party, whose toxic messages on migrants have already caused some alarm, is expected to play a major role in government-formation in Madrid.
As former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown notes in a perceptive essay published in the Guardian, “Vox’s nationalism goes beyond opposing external migration and involves explicitly anti-gay and anti-feminist attacks defining these movements as a threat to the very existence of the nation state.” If Vox becomes a part of the government, in alliance with the conservative Popular Party, Mr. Brown predicts a “political earthquake that will be felt across the continent in the year of Spain’s presidency of the European Union.” With a Far-Right leader heading Italy’s coalition and with Spain poised to turn its back on half a century of anti-fascism, the portents are not good for Europe. While French president Emmanuel Macron won the 2022 contest against the FarRight’s Marine Le Pen, it was not before he had got a scare. The continued troubles in France following the death of a 17-year-old in police firing has brought into sharp focus the schisms in society on how to deal with migrants. Ms. Le Pen has been at the forefront of efforts to corner Mr. Macron on how the state should deal with the unrest. In Germany, the AfD party is seeing the ranks of its supporters swell, and has already won its first local election. Finland already has a Far-Right party in the ruling coalition and Austria’s Freedom Party is said to be lining its sights on power in next year’s election. Besides migration, these parties have preyed on concerns fuelled by inflation and the role taken by European nations on the conflict in Ukraine.
Over the past decade, Russian President Vladimir Putin has carefully cultivated ties with the Far-Right in Europe, and while many of these parties did oppose his invasion of Ukraine last year, they are bound to take a far more nuanced position should they come to power. The Italian Right is assessed to be firmly in the Putin camp and while Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promised to support Ukraine, her alliance partners do not share her views. Three-quarters of a century after Europe turned its back decisively on fascism, it may once a