The United Kingdom stunned the world this week with its decision to leave the European Union.
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While it is far too soon to predict the likelihood of the EU breaking apart entirely, campaigns in other member nations to hold their own referendums will no doubt gain momentum in the wake of the U.K.’s decision.
“Almost everywhere we look in Europe, there are these Euro-skeptic parties,” Global Risk Insights Analyst Petr Bohacek told FOXBusiness.com.
“What’s going to be really important the next few days is how the EU is going to react…I’m expecting the political leads of the EU to come into play and make some changes, new plans – emergency plans maybe for how to avert an EU crisis.”
FOXBusiness.com looks at some of the 27 remaining EU members who may be next in line to exit.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the country’s far-right Front National political party, hailed the Brexit decision Friday. While France has a largely negative view of the EU as a whole, Le Pen’s party particularly maintains an anti-Europe stance. Bohacek notes that although Brexit may bolster Le Pen’s bid in France’s presidential election next spring, left- and right-wing political parties will likely join forces to stop her. “There are some risks, but it’s going to be downplayed by the political elites joining together, which is something we didn’t see in Britain,” he said.
Virginia Raggi, an anti-establishment political newcomer, was elected mayor of Rome this week. The first woman picked to lead the Italian capital is a member of the 5 Star Movement, which is rather critical of Europe. The group called for a national referendum to leave the EU following Raggi’s victory.
“On Sunday, the Spanish general election may provide some indications of the broader anti-EU voice,” David Rae, head of client strategy & research, EMEA, Russell Investments, said in a note. Indeed Spanish voters will head to the polls for the second time following a failed contest in December. Four political parties, two of which hold more traditional views and two that are more radical newcomers, will battle it out in hopes of producing a decisive winner. The question is, though, will Brexit influence voting toward one of the more anti-EU candidates?
Austria recently came close to electing its first far-right president. Norbert Hofer, of the Freedom Party of Austria, was projected to defeat the Green Party’s Alexander Van der Bellen. Hofer lost by 31,000 votes out of the 4.65 million cast. Euro-skeptic sentiments have been growing in the country for some time, particularly following the Austrian government’s decision last year to allow migrants to enter the country and amid a growing unemployment rate.
While Greece might be the first country that comes to mind for some regarding leaving the EU due to its ongoing debt crisis, Bohacek says that actually isn’t likely. “The Greek Parliament just recently accepted the bailout and austerity measures conditioned by the EU, so I think they are doing all they can to actually go through with the bailout deal to move ahead…Greece is sort of out of the woods by now,” he said. While Brexit may bring back conversations about Greece among EU members, the chances of it leaving either by choice or force are slim.
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