Eurosceptic party calling for 'SWEXIT NOW' leading polls
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Despite widespread European grumbling over the region’s slow vaccine rollout, there has not been a huge rise in euroscepticism. Polls show that while many European voters blame Brussels for their lack of shots, most still support the EU. Even traditional pro-’exit’ parties, such as France’s National Rally, have toned down or shifted their rhetoric.
Analysts warn this could soon change, though.
“Euroscepticism in its hardest form has gone out of fashion,” The Economist wrote this week, but warned it could quickly come roaring back.
It added: “If EU citizens find themselves still confined to their homes while Americans and Israelis hit the beach, Europe’s band of Eurosceptics may stir anew.”
Other observers agree the EU’s executive arm, charged by member states last year with procuring vaccines for the bloc, faces mounting pressure to deliver.
French far-right specialist Jean-Yves Camus added: “Many citizens are looking at what’s happening in Brussels and saying, ‘I want to get a vaccine, but I cannot.’
“There’s a risk of part of the population turning against the EU, and saying, ‘What’s happening?”
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, former German MP Dr Peter Gauweiler suggested that as a result of the latest vaccine fiasco, Sweden could soon say goodbye to the bloc.
He said: “The EU is battered.
“It could recover but the situation will only improve if they release competencies again.
“The big help for us eurosceptics has been the UK.
“Brexit is the best proof, as things are most likely to be going better than before for the [British].
“Some people are saying that Sweden will be the next one to leave.”
When asked why, he added: “Well, this is simply linked to regional experiences.
“Let me give you an example using ecology.
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“You can destroy a good biotope with too much energy. And too much of a good thing was done in the area of the allocation of power to the EU headquarters.
“And those who clearly see this and have to pay and don’t just look at this from the perspective of subsidy aspects, those are of course the first ones to feel the negative consequences.”
Sweden was Britain’s closest ally when it came to voting on European policies and staying out of the eurozone.
With the UK now creating a blueprint of how to leave the European Union, Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers echoed Dr Gauweiler’s claims.
Amid conflicts with the UK and the growing power axis between Germany and France, the MEP claimed it may well “pave the way” for a reaction against the EU in Sweden.
He added: “I think this will pave the way for a reaction and we have already seen it to a certain extent, that this change in public opinion on EU membership is now going in the opposite direction to most of the other member states.
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“Yeah, I mean, we’re not talking about an earthquake.
“But it’s the trajectory that is interesting here and it’s going against the trend.
“And I think it’s because more and more Swedes realise that the design of the EU is not in the interest of Swedish taxes.
“So when the chicken comes home to roost, that’s when the real reaction will come.
“Maybe we’re talking about a few years ahead but it will come eventually.”
Throughout the UK’s membership of the EU, states such as Sweden relied on the UK for its support in the European Parliament.
As Mr Weimers added Sweden has not only lost a crucial ally in the bloc, but trade with the UK will also be impacted between the two states.
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