Bankers freak out over ‘populism’ at congress in Frankfurt

Bankers freak out over ‘populism’ at congress in Frankfurt
European Central Bank HQ, Frankfurt, Germany. (Image: Wikimedia Commons - By Epizentrum - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

The rise of populism in developed nations is tearing at the political fabric of Europe, unsettling markets and undermining growth prospects, top European bankers said in Frankfurt on Friday.

“The uncertainty in the market, especially the political and economic instability, has never been as pronounced as it is today,’’ Commerzbank AG Martin Zielke said at the annual European Banking Congress. “We don’t want to go down the path of nationalism.’’

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential elections have fueled concerns that nationalism and populism are gaining a dimension that may turn anti-EU parties into a dominant force across the continent. The Dec. 4 constitutional referendum in Italy and elections in France and Germany next year will be a measure of how destabilizing the surge may be, the bankers said.

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