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Can Europe afford the rise of the right?

The votes across Europe have been counted, and the clear winners in the European Parliament elections are the parties who are pushing for the break-up of the body they'll be working for.

Around a fifth of seats in the parliament are now held by hard-right anti-establishment or euroskeptic parties from countries including France, the U.K., the Netherlands and Denmark . And concerns are already being raised about how this might affect the economy of the European Union (EU).

The economic policies of those anti-establishment parties which have done well are often vague – or even non-existent. Many have been set up as single issue, and have attracted votes partly as a protest against mainstream political parties.

Take the U.K. Independence Party, who had the biggest share of the vote (in a 36 percent turnout) in the U.K.'s European elections.

The party's economic spokesman, Stephen Woolfe, told CNBC Monday that he had been in the job six weeks and would only now begin to formulate the party's economic policy ahead of a party conference in September.

UKIP's taxation policy is an example of the party's lack of clarity, veering between a flat tax and a general "simplification of the tax policy," according to leader Nigel Farage. Richard Murphy, campaigner at Tax Research UK, has accused the UKIP platform of making "no sense at all."

Farage himself had described the party's previous manifesto for the 2010 U.K. general election as "drivel."

UKIP's main possible influence might be to drive the ruling Conservative Party further to the right – it has already helped prompt Prime Minister David Cameron to promise a referendum on the country's EU membership if he is re-elected.

"We expect the British Conservatives to continue to press immigration, European devolution, and even Brexit as issues as they attempt to fend off UKIP in next year's UK election," Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at Citi, wrote in a research note.

This prospect has alarmed economists and business people. The majority of U.K.-based businesses want the country to remain in the EU and think their future prospects would be worse if the U.K. left, according to business lobby group the British Chambers of Commerce.

In Germany, anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is led by an economics professor, won 7 percent of the vote. As Germany has earned its reputation as the euro zone's paymaster, any suggestion of lack of commitment to the euro cause could reverberate across the region.

Meanwhile in Greece, the leading euro skeptic party is on the hard left. Syriza, which has carved out a substantial niche campaigning against austerity measures imposed by Greece's international lenders, won the largest share of the vote there, but didn't manage to get enough to force early elections – a prospect that would have unsettled investors in the euro zone's periphery.

For now, the impact on markets and the euro has been relatively limited – yet this shift away from the center ground is still concerning for longer-term investment.

"The probability of a radical general election result somewhere in Europe at some point in the remainder of this decade is high," Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank, warned.

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