Berlin/Paris: The ruling governments of the countries supporting migrants and trying to interfere with the member countries through the European Union have begun to receive a jolt. The popularity of the French and Germen leaders and their governments, considered to be the pillars of the European Union, is rapidly declining. A recent survey showed rising discontent at the local level, against German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French President, Emmanuel Macron.
The immigrant issue has taken centre stage over the last few months and there is a clear division between two factions over the issue. Germany, France, Switzerland, Greece, Spain and Portugal along with the leadership of the European Union have taken a soft stand on the immigrant issue. At the same time, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia and the Netherlands have openly opposed the influx of immigrants.
Severe repercussions of the discontent among the European people, over the migrant issue, have been felt in the elections held in Europe in the last two years. The established and liberal parties in major European countries have been jolted and support for the right-wing parties taking a stand against the migrants is on the rise. Election results in Italy, Hungary and Germany are the glaring examples of this change. Although Chancellor Merkel managed to sustain her government, she was forced to compromise on this migrant issue.
There are indications that Merkel’s compromise could be the beginning of the end, of her political career. This has been observed in two separate surveys conducted in Germany, in the last month. 80% of the people participating in the ‘DeutschlandTREND’ survey, conducted by the government news channel, ‘MRD’ said that they were unhappy with the Merkel government. Two-thirds of the people recorded an opinion that Merkel’s control over the ruling government is weakening.
Subsequently, the surveys conducted by ‘Build Am Sontag’ and ‘Emnid’, showed that the popularity of Merkel’s ruling coalition has declined to below 30%. This is the first time that the popularity of Merkel’s coalition has declined to such low levels since 2006. The results of these two surveys going against Chancellor Merkel are considered to be clear indications of the changing equations in Germany.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, known to be a close ally of Chancellor Merkel is also seeing a decline in popularity. A survey conducted by a leading French magazine in association with AIFOP, has shown that the support for President Macron has declined below 40%. This is said to be the lowest in the surveys conducted over the last two years.
European elections are scheduled to be held in a year’s time and the issues of migrants, Brexit and control of the Union will prove to be decisive. The parties opposed to these have initiated efforts to form a united front. At this time, the growing discontent against the ruling governments in Germany and France gains significance.