The ruling politicians are unfortunately going in the opposite direction. While a person working for a minimum wage in 2015 paid 29% in taxes and levies, with the planned minimum wage, they will pay more than 40% next year.
Swedish think-tank Timbro presented the subsequent edition of the Authoritarian Populism Index. The aim of the index is chiefly to determine to what extent populist parties can pose a real threat to liberal democracy in the European Union and five other countries on the continent.
In 2017, the Cambridge Dictionary proclaimed “populism” the word of the year. There are many definitions of the term, still, it always evokes strong emotions. One of the definitions of populism in politics was proposed by the Swedish think tank Timbro.
Unsurprisingly, among the countries with the most substantial deteriorations in freedom in recent years are Turkey and Poland, both experiencing evident weakening of the rule of law, contracting religious freedom, and attacks on freedom of expression.
Our progress is already big – for example, you can work almost anywhere in Europe. But we have reached the wall – because we don’t know what foundation, what system we should have. When we do not have solutions, demons wake up.
The last couple of years have seen the citizens of several CEE countries witness the erosion of hard-earned liberalism, while privately and publicly weighing on how to prevent populists in power from further trampling citizen’s freedoms and rights.
Since the beginning of 2015 Viktor Orbán’s right-wing populist Fidesz government has produced one hate campaign after another, targeting migrants, the EU (or rather, “Brussels”), American financier George Soros and institutions connected to him, and even the UN.
On April 19, 2018, the Free Market Road Show visited Warsaw. This year the event took place at SWPS University. The conference began with introductory remarks by Piotr Voelkel (SWPS University), Agata Stremecka (FOR), and Barbara Kolm (Austrian Economics Center).
Those who want to stop populists need to learn how to plan strategically, set aside fantasies, and see the cold reality. They need to be proactive rather than reactive, preventively tackling the propaganda of the populists. Only when the strategic goals are achieved, should they feel good about themselves.
Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, came in first in the German national election. However, this is not a great victory because what’s important here is that for the first time in post-World War 2 history, an extreme right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), came in third in the national election, getting around 13% of the votes.