New Govt May Turn Bulgaria into Police State - Think-TankBulgaria in EU | March 2, 2010, Tuesday // 19:33| views
Potential extreme right-wing supporters are most numerous in countries that have recently gone through tumultuous periods, such as Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria, according to Derex. Photo by www.riskandforecast.com
Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine and Hungary show the strongest demand for discriminatory, anti-establishment and authoritarian ideologies, according to a survey.
While far-right movements and ideas are becoming more popular in Eastern European countries, its threat is decreasing in western Europe, shows the Political Capital Institute's Demand for Right-Wing Extremism Index (Derex).
The index measures and compares people's predisposition to far right-wing politics in 32 countries using data from the European Social Survey.
This is partly because in western Europe, the extreme-right's main appeal lies in its anti-immigration policies, a subject that rarely leads people to reject the political establishment as a whole.
In eastern Europe, prejudice and anti-Gypsy attitudes are closely linked to opposition to the political system, distrust and general malaise, posing a major threat to stability.
The survey cites Bulgaria as a good example of a country where a prejudicial, nationalist and anti-establishment public can push political leaders toward greater radicalism.
“Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s government frequently steps outside democratic boundaries to try to settle scores with opponents. The government’s law-and-order rhetoric, if put into practice, would make Bulgaria look more like a police state than a democracy. However, it meets with widespread public approval,” according to the research.
It points out that potential extreme right-wing supporters are most numerous in countries that have recently gone through tumultuous periods, such as Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria.
Right-wing extremism poses a threat not only to the majority, but to minorities as well, which after experiencing discrimination at the hands of radicals usually become radicalized themselves, the research says.
“For example, 20% of Bulgarians belong to the country’s Islamic minority, and roughly 16 percent of these are potential extremists,” according to Derex. “This means 4% of Bulgarians are potential Muslim extremists.”
According to the index Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish minority is at risk of radicalization, not just the Slavic majority that may harbor anti-Turkish or anti-Gypsy sentiments.
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