The big news at the moment is in the UK, where it looks like there’s a real chance that Scotland might vote to leave Great Britain in a referendum that’s coming up on Sept. 18. Up until very recently, the conventional wisdom was that it would be a fairly close vote, but that really the pro-independence campaign had very little shot. Now people are treating it more like a coin flip.
But you shouldn’t let the possible breakup of the Sterling-zone distract you from the mess elsewhere.
In France, a new poll shows that Marine Le Pen is the current favourite in the 2017 Presidential elections. 2017 is a long time from now, but for those who don’t know, Le Pen is the head of France’s ultra-right National Front party, which was founded by her anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying father Jean-Marie Le Pen. Marine is not as extreme as her father, but she’s sharply anti-eurozone and holds other right-wing views.
Meanwhile in Germany, the anti-eurozone party AfD (Alternative For Deutschland) won a shocking 10% of the vote in the Eastern German state of Saxony. It became the first anti-eurozone party to win a seat in a regional parliament, according to the BBC.
All of this comes, of course, amid dismal economic numbers pretty much everywhere in Europe, which is a result of austerity, a broken monetary system, and a flat-footed European Central Bank (ECB). Last week European ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled new measures to revive the eurozone. Hopefully they’re effective. In the meantime, it appears Europe is working against some strong centrifugal forces.