These were the words of Dutch politician Geert Wilders to a rally of supporters in Prague. Wilders and his allies across Europe are poised to make their right wing coalition the third largest in the European parliament. They vow to push back the EU’s influence on their nations. Marcus Walker and Drew Hinshaw report for The Wall Street Journal:
PRAGUE—Far-right politicians from around Europe held a rally in a historic square here Thursday, addressing a modest crowd of a few hundred, but proclaiming a continent-sized ambition: to remake the European Union.
“The European Union is attempting to erase our nation states,” Dutch anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders, who shared the stage with French firebrand Marine Le Pen and others, told a smattering of flag-waving nationalists at the rally.
Opinion polls suggest far-right parties could become the third-biggest force in the new parliament, behind the center-right and center-left parties that dominate Europe’s political establishment. Those moderate parties have hemorrhaged voters in recent times, especially as Europe battled a debt crisis followed by a spike in migration.
Their nation-first agendas mean they often clash on major issues—such as immigration.
One of Europe’s leading anti-immigration voices, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has chosen to keep his Fidesz party in the EU’s mainstream, center-right grouping—even though Fidesz’s membership is currently suspended because of Mr. Orban’s increasingly authoritarian rule in Hungary—rather than join the far-right alliance.
The continent’s assorted nationalists parties are expected to make gains, building on their strong results last time round in 2014. But the gains are mainly expected to come in two places: Italy and Spain. In some other countries, such as France and Denmark, support for nationalists has stagnated.
Read more here.
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