The European political landscape is undergoing a seismic shift as the region's long-standing main parties come under attack from smaller organizations intent on battling the status quo.
In Spain the left wing Podemos – which was established only last year – has already won seats in the European Parliament. In Greece, another left wing, anti-austerity party, Syriza, has sent the 19-country euro zone reeling with its attempts to renegotiate its bailout program without defaulting.
How can business cope with the overhaul in European politics and just how significant are these changes going to be?
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Across the euro zone, people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with mainstream politics. A general election in Spain is scheduled for the end of this year. At the moment Podemos has gained a significant foothold in national polls and in some surveys is ahead of both ruling Partido Popular and the opposition PSOE.
But the first signs of the green shoots of recovery in the euro zone economy might go some way to offset the effects of a political sea-change.
"Even if there… [are] perhaps some negative forces at play created by uncertainty about whether some… new party might come in and perhaps make large changes, that's probably at the moment being offset by generally the brighter economic outlook for the euro zone," Ben May, Senior euro zone Economist at Oxford Economics, told CNBC.com in a phone interview.
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"So for instance with Spain, the economy is growing very strongly, and I imagine that that's the key thing driving business sentiment."
Commenting on Podemos, May added that, "Perhaps the possibility of Podemos… gaining a foothold in the general election later in the year is… more of a secondary issue at the moment. Albeit obviously in their situation, if their support continues to swell right the way up to an election, then… that might start to have a bit of an influence later on."
Another factor that could potentially influence voters in Spain is the experience of the Greek government since it came to power.
"Perhaps the fact that Syriza, which is a close ally of Podemos, has not been successful in… negotiations so far with the other euro zone countries is also playing a role, because some undecided voters are thinking that perhaps playing hardball doesn't pay off," Vincenzo Scarpetta, policy analyst at think tank Open Europe, told CNBC.com in a phone interview.
Will the rise of new parties have any impact on economic policy?
"Of course, the lack of economic growth can provide a boost to these parties and that's why I think mainstream parties – especially the parties in government – have an interest in doing more to return to growth," Scarpetta said.
Scarpetta added that a change in tone among some leaders is now evident. "If you look at the rhetoric used by French President Hollande or Italian Prime Minister Renzi, there is emphasis on the need for a re-orientation… of euro zone economic policies, so basically less emphasis on fiscal consolidation [and] budget consolidation and more on investment and growth."
For Scarpetta, a broader debate is taking place within the euro zone.
"You clearly have two sides here, you have the Nordic side – Germany, the Netherlands, Finland… countries that are seen as more hawkish, and are insisting more on the importance on this combination, this recipe… [of] fiscal discipline plus structural reforms as the recipe to get out of the crisis and return to growth," he said.
"On the other hand… you have countries such as Italy and France in particular, that are pushing for more emphasis on investment."