on the European Parliament elections proving my point about the leftist generated PR image of Nicholas Sarkozy as a “conservative” that mentally inert American “conservatives” have swallowed hook, line, and sinker. The AP says that the elections are a resounding victory for the “conservative” parties in Europe. And which are these “conservative” parties? The parties of the “conservative” Sarkozy and the “conservative” Angela Merkel, both of whom happen to support the Islamization of Europe and even the expansion of the EU into a “Mediterranean Union” that will include the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Levant. Combine that prospect with the already existing EU-wide anti-hate speech laws, and Geert Wilders won’t just be incited in the Netherlands for speaking the truth about Islam. He’ll be indicted—and tried—in Egypt or Jordan. This is the “conservative” agenda for Europe, the victory of which the American “conservatives” applaud.
Europeans punish left-leaning parties in EU voting
By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN and ROBERT WIELAARD, Associated Press Write
Conservatives raced toward victory in some of Europe’s largest economies Sunday as exit polls showed voters punishing left-leaning parties in European Parliament elections in France, Germany and elsewhere.
Some right-leaning parties suggested the results vindicated their reluctance to spend more on company bailouts and fiscal stimulus amid the global economic crisis.
Projections showed Germany’s Social Democrats heading to their worst showing in a nationwide election since World War II. Four months before a German national election, the outcome boosted conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of ending the tense left-right “grand coalition” that has led the European Union’s most populous nation since 2005.
“We are the force that is acting level-headedly and correctly in this financial and economic crisis,” said Volker Kauder, the leader of Merkel’s party in the German parliament.
Exit polls suggested France’s governing conservative party scored a resounding victory with 28.3 percent of the vote, followed by the opposition Socialist Party with 17.5 percent.
French Socialists said their defeat signaled a need to rethink left-wing policies to unseat Sarkozy.
“Everything is indicating a very good result,” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said minutes after polls closed, attributing the result to the government’s handling of its stint as rotating president of the European Union. The Socialists blamed their poor showing on the divisions that have fractured the party in the past several elections.
An EU estimate showed that only 43 percent of 375 million eligible voters cast ballots in European Parliament elections, a record low.
Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and five other EU nations cast ballots in the last three days, while the rest of the 27-nation bloc voted Sunday. Results for most countries were expected later in the day.
The EU parliament has evolved over five decades from a consultative legislature to one with the power to vote on or amend two-thirds of all EU laws. Lawmakers get five-year terms in the 736-seat parliament, and residents vote for lawmakers from their own countries.
Opinion surveys and exit polls showed right-leaning governments edging the opposition in Italy and Belgium as well as Germany and France. Conservative opposition parties were tied or ahead in Britain and Spain, opinion polls showed.
The leader of the Socialist grouping in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, told party faithful in Brussels via video link from Berlin that “tonight is a very difficult evening for Socialists in many nations in Europe.”
Schulz said the party would “continue to fight for social democracy in Europe.”
Many Socialists across Europe ran campaigns that slammed center-right leaders for failing to rein in financial markets and spend enough to stimulate the economy.
Graham Watson, leader of the center-right Liberal Democrat grouping, said early results suggested a rejection of the Socialist approach.
“People don’t want a return to socialism and that’s why the majority here will be a center-right majority,” he said.
Exit polls also showed gains for far-right groups and other fringe parties due to record low turnout.
Near final results showed Austria’s main rightist party gaining strongly while the ruling Social Democrats lost substantial ground. The big winner in Austria was the rightist Freedom Party, which more than doubled its strength over the 2004 elections to 13.1 percent of the vote. It campaigned on an anti-Islam platform.
In the Netherlands, exit polls predicted Geert Wilders’ anti-Islamic party would win more than 15 percent of the country’s votes, bruising a ruling alliance of Conservatives and Socialists.
Fringe groups could use the EU parliament as a platform for their extreme views but were not expected to affect the assembly’s increasingly influential lawmaking on issues ranging from climate change to cell-phone roaming charges.
The parliament can also amend the EU budget—euro120 billion ($170 billion) this year—and approves candidates for the European Commission, the EU administration and the board of the European Central Bank.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Freedom People’s Party held a two-digit lead over his main center-left rival in the most recent polling despite a deep recession and a scandal over allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old model.
In Britain, dissident Labour legislators said a plot to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown could accelerate after the party’s expected dismal results in the European elections are announced.
Opponents say the Labour leader has been so tainted by the economic crisis and a scandal over lawmakers’ expenses that the opposition Conservatives are virtually guaranteed to win the next national election, which must be called by June 2010.
Exit polls in Bulgaria showed the governing Socialist-led coalition facing defeat and the country’s right-wing opposition party winning most of the votes.
In contrast, Greece’s governing conservatives were headed for defeat in the wake of corruption scandals and with a sharply slowing economy, exit polls showed. The Communists and a new environmental party, meanwhile, were expected to make a strong showing.
Advance polls also favored the left-leaning party in Portugal.
In Spain, where the recession has driven unemployment to 17.4 percent, Europe’s highest, a close race was expected between the ruling Socialists and the conservative opposition.
Poland’s governing pro-business Civic Platform party was expected to claim around half of the country’s 50 seats, followed by the conservative nationalist Law and Justice party—a shift to the right for Poland at the European parliament.
In Hungary, where the governing Socialist Party raised taxes and cut social programs, the main center-right opposition party, Fidesz, was slated to win at least 15 of 22 seats. Jobbik, a far-right party accused of racism and anti-Semitism, was expected to win one or two.
In Sweden, the Green Party was expected to increase its support dramatically. The Pirate Party, which advocates shortening the duration of copyright protection, was expected to get one or two seats for the first time.