OPINION

Political crisis

Most Europeans focus on the result, that is the ascent of a xenophobic, rightist extremism on which they ground their simplistic rhetoric about national isolationism, the return to protectionism, and the reinforcement of similar trends which have nothing to do with the idea of an open Europe, of a free and democratic area where people interact with each other, as envisaged by the pioneers of unification. Jean-Marie Le Pen, however, is nothing but a symptom of the crisis. For the time being, the crisis per se remains unseen, veiled by the curtains of a political system which seems to have lost its dynamism, being exhausted by an endless balancing act. Everywhere in the West, in Europe, and in Greece, one can see the flaws, weaknesses, and distortions of a system which has gradually lost its direction and fallen prey to alien interests. Commentators portray the modern political system as a mechanism which has derailed from the principles of the common good and which is no longer able to serve the public interest. The existing political system is widely seen as an arena where economic interests and pressure groups interplay, sidelining political forces… The question facing European political elites today is, how do they restore their ties with the people? And who can bring this about? It is very unlikely the existing political formations will be able to achieve the needed rapprochement.