Europe is “dismembering itself” by not supporting the “continuity of its people,” a chairperson of Germany’s left-wing populist party Die Linke said, adding that its politics are leading to “nationalistic aspirations.”
Speaking at the party’s conference on Sunday, Sahra Wagenknecht criticized the politics supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
She stated that while €323 billion ($396.6 billion) is going to “stockholders in individual European countries,” the continent is facing multiple social crises. “We have a situation where poverty in Europe is at an all-time high, where so many young people are facing a life that offers them no chances…
“…Where education is being economized to the point where it no longer functions, where public institutions are decaying, where hospitals are completely under-equipped, where countries are pressured to privatize and cut back on social benefits, and the dividends are bubbling more than ever before.”
Such situations show that “this Europe is not a Europe that supports the continuity of its people.” Instead, it is a Europe “that is dismembering itself. That there’s nationalistic aspirations and tendencies in so many countries, that’s a result of these politics,” Wagenknecht said in footage published by Ruptly.
Germany saw an uptick in support for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the September election. Much of that support came during the 2015 refugee crisis, to which Merkel responded with a controversial “open-door policy.”
Meanwhile, Die Linke Chairperson Dietmar Bartsch also chimed in at the conference, stating that there is a “worldwide culture war from the right. We can see and hear that almost every day.”
Bartsch used the example of Donald Trump’s alleged “s***hole countries” comment, in which the US president reportedly referenced Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. “We can find countless examples of this culture war where civil values are being attacked – that’s the challenge we’re up against,” he added.
Guest speaker Jean-Luc Melenchon, an MP for France’s left-wing populist La France Insoumise party, also took to the floor at the conference, speaking about his disapproval of European defense strategies.
“We now hear from all the parts of Europe that we have to step up military collaboration and increase our spending in the sector, that we have to install artillery batteries… at the beginning, they said that it was against Iran, and now we understand it is against Russia,” he said.
Melenchon noted, however, that Russia isn’t Europe’s enemy, but rather a partner. “No to war. No to armament. No compromise on war and peace. We don’t want the Europe of defense. We don’t know whom we will defend ourselves from. We don’t know whom they want to attack.”
Founded in 2007, Germany’s Die Linke (also known as the Left Party) was born following the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice (WASG). It is the most left-wing party of those represented in the Bundestag.
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