Political Extremists Boost Clout Amid Europe’s Downturn

CNBC.com: Support for extreme political movements is building across Europe as the economy starts worsening again – and analysts and anti-extremist organizations are increasingly worried that parties on the left- or right-wing fringes will gain more political power.

The continent has a worrying precedent in the rise to power of fascist dictatorships in Germany, Italy and Spain during the 1930s, following the Great Depression, and the rise of the Soviet Union before then.

Now, increased support for far-right political parties in countries such as France and Greece, which are due to hold elections later this year, is causing concern.

The euro zone is currently headed towards the second part of adouble dip recession [cnbc explains] – the first part of which began in 2008 and lasted for 18 months.

“Economic downturn is a recruiting sergeant for these organizations,” Haras Rafiq, director of Centri, the UK-based counter-extremism organization, told CNBC.com. “If people haven’t got jobs, or money, or food for their children, the natural human tendency is to look to blame somebody: the government; other people or society itself.”



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