The latest series of elections in the European countries was marked by historical gains of Green parties, which not only won the record high support of voters, but also managed to replace traditional mainstream parties as leaders in some regions, in particular, in the Bavarian capital of Munich.
"The Greens are clearly a growing force in Europe… On the Left, the Green parties perform the best… The Greens are not perceived anymore as tree-huggers. I think they have reached a sort of political maturity, which was absent in their early years," Merritt stated.
Speaking about the reasons for the growing popularity of Green parties, Merritt suggested that the Greens were immune from many stereotypical cliches surrounding traditional political forces, for example, corruption.
"The public seems to have lost its compass, and elections deliver ‘wild’ results as compared to the past. Populists often have the upper hand and traditional parties, left and right are the main losers," Merritt summarized.
On Sunday, the German state of Bavaria held elections to the unicameral Landtag, with the Greens having come second with 17.5 percent of the vote, outdone only by Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. Sunday votes in Belgium and Luxembourg have also shown a clear trend toward the increased support for the Greens. For example, the Green party Ecolo-Groen occupied leading positions in a number of local councils in the Belgian capital of Brussels.
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