Populism both right and left is on the rise in Europe. The headline is dramatic but not unusual among the populist leaders of Europe. It was from Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League.
The dramatic victory of Greece’s left wing Syriza Party highlights the growing clout of anti-establishment and nationalist populism in Europe. The party leader, forty-year old Alexis Tsipras used a variety of slogans around “our national humiliation will be over.” Expect all left and right wing populist parties to take heart that the EU is now in trouble.
Populism is a label that describes a variety of political movements of both the right and left. It is a philosophy characterized by anti-establishment rhetoric and a claimed respect for the common sense views of the public. Populism is not aligned with traditional parties, partisan ideologies or mainstream solutions and polices. But it has become the dominant European political force at the moment and is challenging most of Europe’s governments and established politicians and parties.