The winner of France’s first election round, Francois Hollande is out saying that austerity is the reason so many voters turned to nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen in the election.
This might sound controversial, but it has a historical precedent to the rise of Europe’s most infamous nationalist: Hitler.
Remember this chart from Dylan Grice?
And it wasn’t just that unemployment was high, it was that in the post-Weimar era, Germany pursued especially harsh deflationary policies. Sound familiar?
And of course, it’s not just the rise of nationalism you have to worry about.
Researchers Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth in a paper called Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe,. 1919-2009 (.pdf) nicely linked budget cuts to social disorder.
So Europe is seeing nationalism and social unrest. Nothing new here.