These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
Rise of extremism in Netherlands
The Netherlands is preparing for a general election in about 2 weeks. Opinion polls show that Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom or PVV, has a high chance to win the election. Wilders is seen by many as a politician who’s perfectly riding on a wave of right-wing populism which is already sweeping across Europe. His likely victory is therefore believed to cause what many are describing as Europe’s next political earthquake after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Brexit.
French elections special: the race for the Elysee palace
2017 is one of the most critical political years in Europe. With Brexit dominating the headlines in Europe, the world watches on as to what will follow across the continent. The French elections are likely to be one of the most controversial of the 5 eme Republique, or 5th Republic. Already marred with scandals, the race for the Elysee Palace has already seen the incumbent President, Francois Hollande rule himself out of the race, as well as various issues being made publicly available concerning the other main candidates, namely, Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Current polls are only predictions at the moment, and as Donald Trump was able to prove, anything is possible, and the show is never over until the last vote has been counted.
German elections: Schulz vs. Merkel?
The European Union’s economic powerhouse Germany is among several EU countries like France and the Netherlands which will hold federal elections in 2017. On September 24, German voters will choose Bundestag members. The vote will ultimately determine who the next chancellor is. Incumbent Angela Merkel is seeking a 4th term in office. Merkel is facing a tough challenge from Martin Schulz who is the center-left SPD’s candidate for chancellor. Schulz served as the president of the European Parliament for 2 terms. He has been campaigning on a platform of reducing inequality and healing divisions since he declared his bid for the top post in November last year.