The populism threat in Europe continues to worry investors despite a string of election results that suggested the movement was in decline, according to the CEO of Chantico Global.
At the beginning of the year, possible far-right election victories in the Netherlands, France and Germany were perceived as the biggest threat to European politics. However, wins by established parties in each country eased populist fears.
In recent days, however, the instability in Catalonia has escalated; right-wing conservative Sebastian Kurz won Austria’s general election on an anti-immigration platform; the Czech Republic elected the populist Andrej Babis as its new prime minister; and the two richest regions in Italy held referendums asking for more autonomy from Rome.
The threat of populism, therefore, remains, Gina Sanchez, chief executive officer of Chantico Global, told CNBC Monday.
“I think it’s something worth watching, especially as we’ve seen Austrian elections, what is happening in Spain, in Italy,” she said. “We thought we were passed (the populist threat) with Macron and with the Dutch elections and the German elections, but it turns out, that populism is still rearing its ugly head.”
Looking ahead, Sanchez suggested it’s important to keep an eye on the peripheries of the European Union.
These “can create a lot of headache for the European Union,” she said.
Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Prime Partners, told CNBC: “I believe people didn’t realize quickly enough that extreme right parties were growing with the globalization process. It’s not that suddenly globalization became a problem; globalization was becoming a problem year after year, but the elite wasn’t listening to those people.”