Awakening of the Sleeping Volcano

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The European continent occasionally experiences volcanic eruptions, which from time to time shakes the ground to the core. We forget these occurrences up to a moment when we have to face their activity. The British elections to the parliament, which take place the next week are one of them. What is in store for the Britain on May 7 and how can it influence the rest of us?

The Great Britain is in the crossroads once again, it has to choose its direction and follow its path. However, up to now, the decision was limited to two parties, maximum of three, with relatively similar agenda. And now the most recent situation is not much different.  Two new parties have entered the game of high politics, without paying much attention to the leading parties (Conservative, Labor and Liberal party). Those two parties are the Scottish National Party and UK Independence Party. The forthcoming elections have become a referendum on key topics, in which those parties started to be distinctive. 

On the one hand, it is the topic of economy, on which the ruling Conservative party relies. David Cameron is strictly convinced that the Brits will give a notice to the economic competence and relative stability of the last five years. Problem for Conservatives is currently the party of Nigel Farage, which by its critique of EU and more rightist economic policy, combined with sharp critique of immigration has created for the Conservatives a strong competition. As a result, the rightist policy is now content also in the policy of Conservative party and in its content we see intentions, from the side of Nigel Farage, that are by its scope closely related to Slovakia and Slovaks, for example by the exit of UK from the EU. Under the growing popularity of the UK Independence Party, Cameron promised a referendum about UK exit from EU, if he wins the most recent elections. Next key topic is immigration, again thanks to politics from the side of Nigel Farage, by which he achieved a success by making other parties to open discussion about topic which have been closed for years. This may also affect Slovaks, who are put into the same basket with other east European citizens.

On the other hand the situation is neither easy for Labor party. After the unsuccessful Scottish referendum, the Scottish National Party started an offensive, in which it makes competition for Laborers mostly in Scotland, which was standardly a base to leftists. If they achieve to gain at least fifty seats in Parliament, they will become the third most powerful party and may get other parties into a stalemate. After this, we may again face discussions related to the growth of higher Scottish competences, with relation to social policy and education, which SNP perceive as important. As of Ed Miliband, the leader of Laborers, did doubt cooperation with Scottish independent party, we have to wait for the final outcome of elections. Pressure about raising Scottish privileges and fight for higher independence will soon or later be on the table.

Not a single scenario seems bright for the EU. Ignorance of issues with relation to the UK, which the EU could afford with small exceptions every time at least for each five years, could leave the EU in situation of a shock. That is why European politics will surely highlight one of the days in their calendar the next week, to check the results of the elections and eventually relax again. Up to this, the EU has to as every five years, await the sleeping volcano, which in event of its explosion, may cover the EU with darkness.

Translation: Peter Ondrovič

Martin Reguli