After Brexit and Donald Trump in 2016, Europe dodged the populist bullet in 2017 with the election of pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron in France.>>
>> But discontent with Europe's political establishment remains high, and is likely to continue to cast the cloud over Europe's political landscape in 2018.
I'm Noah Barkin with Reuters in Berlin. There are two paradoxical forces at play in Europe right now. On the one hand, Europe's far right populist parties are toning down their Euro-skepticism. Europe's economy is picking up, and the chaotic post-Brexit politics in Britain has actually convinced people that they'd like to stay in the EU.
On the other hand, we have seen Europe's traditional center right parties shift decisively to the right. We've seen this in Austria with Sebastian Kurz, the new chancellor, who ran a very right-wing immigration-critical election campaign. We've seen it in France, where Laurent Wauquiez a hard liner has been elected to lead at the center right Republican Party.
And nationalism is back, as we've seen here in Germany with the election of the Alternative for Germany, a far-right party which is entering the Bundestag for the first time. In 2018, we have one big election in Europe and that's in Italy. Polls suggest that the Five Star Movement, an anti-establishment up start party is expected to come out tops in that election.
> So there's no doubt about it. The fringe parties in Europe are eating away at support for the traditional mainstream parties of the political center that have dominated politics in Europe ever since World War II.