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Issue #1641      June 4, 2014

Nine far-right parties in European Parliament

One has a leader with a swastika tattoo, one wants to rid his entire country of Muslims, another has a founder who suggested releasing the Ebola virus on migrants. This is the class of 2014, the parties set to enter the European Parliament as part of the Union’s most eurosceptic, far right, anti-immigrant intake of all time.

An NPD march: the banner in front of them says: “Enough paid out. We are not Europe’s cash cow”. (Photo: Andrea Roepke)

Though the British National Party had their one MEP dismissed by voters, this year is the first time openly neo-Nazi parties will sit in Brussels as representatives of their nations.

The European fringe of what Boris Johnson described as “bizarre or downright potty” have flooded the chamber. Almost all are Eurosceptic, joining the mainstream anti-EU parties like Britain’s Ukip to make up around a third of the parliament.

Here’s the full rundown:

Marine Le Pen has had to work hard to de-toxify her far right Front National party, including censoring her own father and the party’s founder. Jean Marie Le Pen suggested only last month that “Monseigneur Ebola” could sort out Europe’s immigration issue “in three months”. He has regularly been convicted under France’s race hate laws, and has called the Nazi gas chambers a “small detail”. The party took a quarter of the vote in France, with its popular anti-immigration platform.

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany has been campaigning on a platform of stopping immigration and been called racist and anti-Semitic. They have fought under the banner of slogans like “Money for granny instead of Sinti and Roma” and “the boat is full”, given interviews insisting Europe is “a continent of white people” and have marched with banners proclaiming the Nazi ideology of “National Socialism”.

The Greek ultra nationalist party Golden Dawn has swapped its jackboots for suits in the run-up to the elections and been rewarded with its first seats in the European Parliament. Its main spokesman has a swastika tattoo, and a good number of the party’s members are in prison for being part of a criminal organisation. Its slogans have been daubed on mosques, synagogues and cemeteries. In May 2012, Golden Dawn ran in Greek elections under the slogan “So we can rid this land of filth”, set up “Greek-only” food banks, and its spokesman has quoted from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in parliament. But the party insists it is neither criminal nor neo-Nazi. It is now the country’s third most popular party.

Finland’s anti-euro populist Finns Party has done less well than predicted, but still picked up two MEPs. It was previously known as the “True Finns”. Its MP James Hirvisaari was fined in 2011 for comments he made on his blog about Muslims, another declined an invite to the Independence Day ball because he did not want to see same-sex couples, but the party has repeatedly rejected accusations of racism and homophobia.

The Danish People’s party won nearly 27 percent of the vote and has doubled its number of MEPs. The party’s founder Pia Kjærsgaard holds the view that Denmark is not a country where immigration is natural or welcome. In response to criticism from Sweden, she retorted: “If they want to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö into a Scandinavian Beirut, with clan wars, honour killings and gang rapes, let them do it. We can always put a barrier on the Øresund Bridge.”

Dutch far-right “Party for Freedom” leader Geert Wilders will be disappointed with the results, as pro-EU parties topped the Dutch poll. His party has been dogged with controversy. Wilders is known for his vociferous criticism of Islam, and for saying “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam”. He campaigns to end all Muslim immigration to the Netherlands and repatriate Muslims currently living there. “Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe. If we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia and Netherabia will just be a matter of time,” Wilders once told the Dutch parliament. Last week, there was no difference in the rhetoric. “Do you want more or less Moroccans in this city and this country?”, he shouted to a rally, to chants of “Less! Less!” “We’ll arrange that,” he said. The party retains four seats in the EU parliament.

The right-wing nationalist Hungarian party Jobbik, one of the most obviously neo-Nazi parties in the European parliament, matched its 2009 EU election results, garnering 14.7 percent of the vote and three MEPs. Members have called for the country’s Jewish inhabitants to sign a special register. “I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary,” the party’s deputy parliamentary leader, Márton Gyöngyösi said.

There were huge gains for the far-right Freedom Party in Austria, which wan around a fifth of the vote for its anti-immigration platform. It doubled the number of MEPs, from two to four and says it hopes to form an alliance with the Front National. “If there are immigrants, from Turkey, who complain there is a cross hanging in the classroom at school, then I say to them: ‘go back home’,” was the slogan from leader Heinz-Christian Strache. The party is fiercely anti-Muslim immigration, and believes Austria should not accept any more migrants. Strache says he himself is not a racist because he “eats kebabs.”

The far-right party gained six percent of the vote in Italy. “Africa hasn’t produced great geniuses as anyone can see from a Mickey Mouse encyclopaedia,” one of its ex-MEPs said,

Leader of the British National Party (BNP) Nick Griffin lost his seat in the European parliament, the far-right party’s only MEP after Andrew Brons quit the party. Out of breath and breathing heavily, Griffin said his reception at the town hall was “fairly typical”. He appeared to concede defeat saying his party had “no chance” tonight, before adding: “We will be back.” The BNP were the real “racist” party, he said, and those who had voted for Ukip had been mistaken.

Huffington Post

Next article – Demands for answers on anti-Cuba terrorism

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