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Until a few weeks ago expert analysts and columnists were explaining that Europe had escaped the populist “infection.” Marine Le Pen had been defeated in France, Chancellor Angela Merkel would get safely re-elected in Germany and Europe could go forward to more integration on the lines proposed by the ever-ambitious Jean-Claude Junker, the European commission president, despite the United Kingdom going its separate way.

But that was yesterday. Today the scene looks quite different. In Germany there has been a dramatic rise in populist feeling reflected in the success of the Alternative for Germany party. This has many elements, some of them extreme right wing and distasteful, some of them plain anti-immigration, but all basically reflecting a new demand for the crowd and the minorities to have their voice in a world where they feel too much is dictated to them from the top.

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