tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 20, 2016 7:00am-7:31am PDT
♪ peter: helello, and a vevery wam welcome indeeded to ththis latet addition of "quadriga," coming to you from the heart of the german capital, berlin. this week, we are focusing on the political crisis in austria, and the impact it is having on the rest of europepe. the story is this. austria goes to the polls this weekend to elect a new president. the likely winner is norbert hofer, the head of the far right freedom party, who won the first round of voting in april. since then, there has been much talk of the demise of austria's postwar political establishment, and big questions about how developments in austria fit into the rise of nationalism and xenophobia that we are currently
seeing across the european continent. our question this week here on "quadriga," is this. crisis in austria, who can stop europe's drift to the right? to discuss that question, i'm joined here in the studio by three seasoned observers and analysts. let me introduce them to you. beginning with ewald konig, a freelance correspondent and austrian himself, who has been covering austrian politics for decades now. he says, "it is not only the refugees. there are many other reasons for austria's and europe's drift to the right." also with us today is alan posener, a commentator with the berlin daily "die welt." alan says, "nobody cares who governs a small country like austria, but germany has a responsibility for the whole of europe. we can't afford viennese coffeehouse politics," he says. and my third guest is ulrike guerot, of the european democracy lab, who believes that, "a wildfire is sweeping across europe.
it's taken in hungary, and now poland, and now austria, with france looking likely to be next." ewald konig, i would likike to begin with you. without any disrespect whatsoever, i would like to suggest that austria is not exactly a big country. it has a population of fewer than 10 million. i would like to ask you to explain to us how and why it is having sucuch a huge impact at this point in time. ewald: well, we have a long series of grand coalitions in austria. therefore, i say this is not only the refugees and mass migration, that we have a drift toto the right wing, but also people are not satisfied. they are fed up with the political system, with the two bigger parties that are not big anymore, and with the wheeling and dealing. they are fed up with many other
things, beginning from the globalization, down to the interior politics. peter: you've touched on just about every subject we will be talking about inin the next 25 minutes. i would just like you to give us an idea, from the people you have been talking to in austria this past week or so, how great is the sense of crisis in the country, ahead of this crucial election on sunday? especially with the world looking on, of course. ewald: i think many people hope that the candidate of the e gren party -- officially he is independent, but he is of the green party for many years -- that he will make the election. although, there is a big gap between the first candidate of the so-called blue party. i can imagine that many people in austria were so frustrated
that they wanted to protest with the election, and they voted for norbert hofer, and then they were shocked about his high percentage in the result. now maybe they do not vote in this big mass, and all the other candidates who failed are in favor of mr. van der bellen. although, mr. van der bellen, he is not the ideal candidate as well. a couple of days ago, there was a show on television, private tetelevision in austria, and it was embarrassing. it was done without a moderator, just the two candidates. it really was embarrassing. it is a damage for this
presidential function. peter: ok. alan posener, ewald konig playing down fears in austria. you have dismissed events in austria as the politics of a viennese coffeehouse. i would like to draw your attention to an article i was reading in "the new york times" about a week ago or so. under the title, austria and the future of europe it said, , "history's shadow of rapid nationalism and xenophobia kept at bay since the end of world war ii is lengthenening across e continent. this is serious." alan: it is very serious. the newspaper needn't look to europe to say that. it is lengthening across america, too. we have, with mr. trump, the presidential candidate of the republican party, it is a western phenomenon. no longer can the americans say it is a european phenomenon. when i said it was viennese coffeehouse politics, i was being just as disdainful and actually wrongheaded about it, because it is a german phenomenon with the afd too.
and the point is that you talk about dissatisfaction, mr. konig, with the system in austria. i go to austria regularly. it is a great country to live. it is a high standard of living. it is a wonderful place to be. where does all this anger come from? it is a strange, i don't know, it is not as if people are like in the 1930's, out of work, bread lines. even people who are out of work have a great social system in austria. there is something more sinister going on, almost like a death wish. maybe it is no accident that sigmund freud discovered the death wish. it comes from vienna. as if they want to just destroy everything. that european democracy, austrian democracy, is built after the war, and it is very disconcerting. if you could point to something and say this, they let people down on that, you could change it. but people seem hell-bent on destroying themselves.
what do you do? peter: what do you make of all that? [laughter] i'm fascinated to hear what you have to say. ulrike: what am i doing with the death wish? let's take freud out of here and do politics. i would argue it does not fall from heaven, first. there is a 15-year-old tradition , and another very prominent figure, which was the uprising of modern right-wing populism, which came from austria, 15 years ago. which, by then, we stitill pursd on the legal side of the gotpean union, because we article seven and we wanted to do something against. it could buy time. -- ita seems toto be doesn't come from nowhere, but it hasas been undercover for a long. now in the whole development mr. posener and as
said, it is not just us,s, it is america with mr. trump. it is in poland as well. right-wing populism. i think what has been latent in thisustrian case now gets way. it brings austrian potential to another ethic. what can you observe is not so distinct from whatat you s see elsewhere, which is that there is a political class in the middle, the moderate ranked, a d momoderate left, which has creed to either side. you see the german coalition, and you see in france where you have the president a lot -- hollande, and for finland, denmark and austria. we are building the margins of the political spectrum in all countries.
they are building a wall around itself. mr. posener says it is not like w when we were livig in the 1930's, with massive unemployment. but people are comparing the situation with the 1920's and 1930's. very sane and sensible people are doing that in private conversations and have, in the media and in general. ulrike: i would not agagree with that. there is a situation, and if i'm at mistaken, i was hearing story about income discrepancies and austria. under par, sketching out very high discrepancies. elsewhere, like there are many bit people, but many others who did not benefit. indiana, it is -- vienna is a very wealthy town, but it is not for everybody.
people are scared about their own perspective, and anxieiety about what they will lose, then you have the same centimeter of destabilization of the middle class, to bring these people to the right. , somethingkonig sinister in austria. that word caught my attention. something sinister. do you agree? ewald: i do not agree with some positions of mr. posener. ofhink it is some sort arrogant to say, who cares about a small country, or the government are small countries -- of small countries. i have to say thatat the chancellor d did care about smaller countries, and he did consult them, or and form them -- informed them. this is in the past, it was not done today. the second position that germany has, the responsibility for the whole of europe.
in fact, it is like this. germany has the leadership for .urope, and many countries neighboring countries care that germany takes leadership, but you cannot say german me has the response -- germany has the responsibility. peter: what you appear to be saying is germany is bullying smaller countries in europe. agree, but not really smaller countries. austria was benefiting by jeremy -- germany. you can talk about the european south, about the austerity policy. countries like austria or even the netherlands benefit from what is gaining to the markeketn germany. on the political side, i agree that thesenig, countries resent they have no more say in the european making. if you go to the refugee criris, the chancellor who just
resigned, he was given orders by angela merkel to arrange this. it was more her calling for the auaustrian chancelellor to givim a task, as if the chancellor is not on equal footing in the system of european governance.i think there is something building up , in the small countries. we are seeing that we are paying the political price. thed: because the some of smaller countries are powerful. peter: one thing we do know, in austria, norbert hofer's success shook the political establishment to the core. as y you pointed out, to the resignation of the chancellor. austrianresignation of chancellor earlier this month sent a clear signal. in germany, the social democrats have seen a big drop over the past several years in
their share of the vote, and a number of f party members. chancellor merkel's christian democrats are not doing much better. neither are many of europe's other big political parties. right-wing parties are stealing their votes. people are really nervous right now, and they don't trust the established parties. >> and those parties are nervous, too. >> we are talking about our exisistence here. we could end up in a tailspin and crash. are europe's big political parties dying ouout? peter: interesting question. we are talking about the broad-based, the big 10 political parties that are the cornerstone of european politics for decades, since the second world war, effectively. are they on the way out? alan: it would appear so.
it is very alarming. this i is partly to o do it -- e basic reason is the electoral systemem in the whole of europe. if you had the electoral system thenin prison -- britain, you would still have two main parties, center left, center right, and a basically stable political set up. where they don't have that and they have proportional representation for european elections, the u.k. comes in on top. a bag of fools, basically. in europe, it is proportional representation, that is the basis. anyone with a grudge for any reason whatsoever, mostly basis -- baseless. the elites discredit themselves in the financial crisis of 2008. ok, they make mistakes. but the fact is, what is going on is people are voting
irresponsibly. they are saying, i don't agree with the system, i will vote for this other person. they are not voting for a government, they are voting for a protest party. is a breakdown of political education. ulrike: i strongly disagree. people vote for what they want. your comparison doesn't hold, because in france you do have a majority system and they, are she holds 40% i in some of the regions of france. the voting system is just part of the explanation for france. the second thing, it is the right for people to be in anger against the of -- government. it's not that the people are voting wrongly, it may say that the political class is not functioning, and that is s wrong politics. we did a lot of wrong politics. there was everything illegal, but not moral. there was socialization of bank
debt. there is a system that needs to take the blame that people are giving. what we are seeingng is just a the people, but in a way the people are the soverereign. -- they areclass protesting the political class. the establishment left people behind. instead of pointing to the people, perhaps the establishment could understand that they better do good governance for the people. ewald: the thing is, the more you want people not to vote for the right wing parties, those people who want to protest, they know what to vote because they want to hurt. alan: yes, ok. the whole point t about democray -- it is not taught correctly in school. they say democracy means leadership by the rule by the people. that's not true. liberal democracy means checks on the rules. checks on the emotions of the populace.
this is why you have the voting system in great britain and the united ststates, designed to kep protest voters to a minimum. ulrike: completely agreed, but -- can fail.of the but the majority of the system comes on two legs, because you need to legs to walk. one is the anti-euro side, thehe other is the racism and xenophobia. because racism and xenophobia can be easily criticized by the establishment, look how these don't are, xenophobic, talk to them, it canan be shifid away. but this basically enables the political class cannot look at the real critique of these people against and is functioning-- this governance. austria it is pretty true. there is a fundamental substantial critique to make, that also comes from science,
that they europe governance system is flawed for many people and does not work. there's no social component and component.atic if marine le pen says this, she the populace. in essence, she is right. only because in addition she is xenophobic, you can easily push her away, and it makes you not take serious points of critique. we should look at what t the populace are saying. they say we are mistreating people on many levels of the social and democracy field. we should listen instead of pushing them away. peter: i wonder if you are taking the voter seriously, because there are many people clearly, it is a learning process with the emergence of the far right. we are learning there are a lot of people who are very threatened and disgruntled by the accelerating speed of globalization. they feel as though their traditional lifestyles are
threatened. do you respect that, do you have sympathy for that? or do you dismiss that? alan: you're putting me on the spot here. i don't have any respect for that. why should i respect someone who does not want society to be modern? why should i respect someone, who says, i want to live in a racially pierce society and -- pierce society and i don't want immigrants? why should i respect someone who does knowledge to share their wealth? i have no respect. the problem is not that the parties are ruling. or that they pushed it aside. they did not get up until the people -- this is not how we talk about strangers. this is not how we talk about globalization. it is not how they talk about europe. and david -- if they were not angry enough, they did not take it seriously. ulrike: you are picking up what i was trying to explain. we are picking up on the racist tendencies, but not the
legitimate claim that the global economy is making them stuck. look -- alan: if it is greece, fine. i have every sympathy with downtrodden greeks. but there are no downtrodden austrians. they are on the top. you,: we will come back to after we have another look at a short report. this is an aspect of what we discussed here, the fierce people have about, what is the word, identity. loss of identity. let's watch the pictures first. announcer: heland. acss europe, right wing political parties are playing up nationonist teams, including what they see as too much immigration. thehe split is not between the left and the right, , but between the globalists and the patrioiots.
the globalist who favor the dissolution of france in a global magma, and patriots who believe the national arena is the most protected for the french, and that means all of you. announcer: the national front has become the voice of a lot of frustrated voters. there are many of these parties in europe. germany, too. >> we are patriots. we love our homeland, and we want to protect it. announcer: but can this new nationalism protect people from truly global problems? peter: that is the question, ewald konig. globalists versus patriots. ewald: i think it need not be a contradiction. you can be a patriot, and also fond of globalization. there is a special aspect on the euroropean level, especially for the austrians. most people forget it.
2000, we had the first break of the grand coalition. it was a coalition of conservative parties. it was some sort of maximum , thety from the eu side austrians without being asked. peter: the austrians were not consulted. ewald: yes. and this is still a scar. the austrians had the highest -- of ulrike: agreement. ewald: agreement in entering the eu. but after these sanctions, it is still a scar. peter: a scar on the far right, resentment. it is there.
but what is the best way to stop it? what is the best way to address it? alan: look, the austrians elected a self hating homosexual, israel hater. a hater of everything truly western. and now they say it is a scar because the european union decided they could not allow that? that something had to be done about it, because it was not the way we do business in europe? all i can say is, it is not for them. we don't let people like that to be part of government, and we should not allow it. peter: how do we stop the far right? ulrike: we need to get the analysis clear. talking about what marine le pen said, it is globalism together with the agenda for openings. -- says she wants closer closure, but you cannot have that on one side. if youou have open markets, bubt ththen you get cosmopolitanism with it.
this is really we need to understand. the moment liberals want open markets, you can open agendada fromom other people from differt nations, you cannonot havee separate liberalism's. the left wants closed market open human agenda. the right wants only open markets,s, but they want to didisclose identities. because these two liberalisms always come along, left and right are retreating their own electorates, and that goes to the margins. this is the analysis. not a solution, but analysis of the problem. ulrike: but it is very part -- important to get it right. peter: how do you stop the far right? -- i think wet cannot stop it by order, we have to live with them. we have to make a reality check, if they have responsibility in the government.and then we h hae demystification.
you cannot stop it. peter: so the genie of nationalism is out of the bottle. can it be put back in, or is it going to run and run? alan: it remains to be seen. but you have to fight it. that is not what the center-right is doing now. at the moment, they say, we have to take -- they are pretetending these are real concerns. they are not real concerns. they are demagoguery. worke: but that can only because of the social and economic erosion. if not, it cannonot walk -- wor. the political class needs to fight those emotions. peter: we will have to leave it there. i hope we have given you plenty of food for thought. if you enjoyed the show, come back next week. we would love to hear from you. goodbye. cheers. ♪
anchor: this week, "global 3000" goes to madagascar, where increasing deforestation is threatening the survival of lemurs. we meet people campaigning for artistic freedom in saudi arabia, one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. but first we go to chernobyl in ukraine, where 30 years since the nuclear disaster there, people are choosing to live in the "dead zone" around the power station. why? on april 26th, 1986, problems