It is tempting to view the win in Argentina by far-right libertarian economist Javier Milei followed by the first-place finish in the Netherlands by the anti-Muslim firebrand Geert Wilders as evidence of a global movement. But it would be a mistake to view these two earthquakes as part of the same tectonic pattern.
The far-right PVV party’s victory in the Netherlands’ elections has fueled frantic speculation about what the outcome means for European democracy. Less attention has been paid to the broader trends enabling a party as radical as the PVV to get to a position where 24 percent of Dutch voters might give it the benefit of the doubt.
Three weeks ago, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa submitted his resignation amid a corruption scandal, ushering in what is probably the biggest crisis in Portuguese politics in at least 20 years. The snap elections called for March promise to be the most contested and important ballot in that same period.
Pedro Sanchez was elected Spain’s prime minister last week in a parliamentary investiture that represents a validation of his high-risk gamble to call early elections that he was widely expected to lose. But the win comes after weeks of massive protests that reflect why this is his most controversial victory to date.
As preparations fall into place for the first in-person summit in four years between EU officials and their Chinese counterparts, hopes for constructive partnership have been displaced by mutual suspicion. Yet in hardening its stance toward Beijing, Brussels is ignoring weaknesses within China that could also generate risks.