The EU Crackup
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Political upheaval has hit Finland, and it’s merely a foreshadowing of bigger changes ahead. The core issue is whether Finland ought to be paying for bailouts for other EU states. In reaction to establishment support for the bailout, voters ousted the pro-bailout ruling party and gave an upset victory to the bailout-critical conservative party. Against every expectation, the eternal rule of the social democrats is at an end.
But most striking of all are the gains made by a previously invisible party called True Finns. This is the only party to take a hardcore position: no bailouts at all. It also so happens that this party is predictably nationalist on issues of trade and immigration. But that’s not the source of the appeal. The bailout is what is on everyone’s mind. And you know that the anger must be palpable if it fired up the usually sleepy world of Finnish politics.
In the sweep of history, few issues are as politically volatile as tax-funded bailouts of foreign countries, especially during difficult economic times. It’s a policy that provokes dramatic political change. The 20th century’s most famous case was in interwar Germany, when nationwide resentment against payments to conquering allied nations ushered in National Socialist rule.