Fears of far-right extremism grow in Europe

Published 10.12.2018 00:30
Updated 10.12.2018 08:00

As the far-right groups across Europe are integrating themselves into the political mainstream, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Saturday called on the European socialists to be cautious about the rising extreme-right and said they "should do much more."

The Party of European Socialists (PES) convened in Portugal's capital Lisbon to discuss the joint strategies ahead of the Europe Parliament (EP) elections to be held on May 26, 2019. Far-right and Eurosceptic groups are expected to gain ground in the European elections, according to an aggregation of national polls by Reuters, but their share of seats in the EU assembly is projected to remain well below 20 percent of the total 705 members.

Speaking at the 11th congress of PES, Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez stressed that the socialists of Europe had to do self-criticizing before EP elections and step into action against the rising extreme-right. "The explosion of the extreme right in Europe, the authoritarian attitude and symptoms experienced amid Brexit are obvious; what is done [so far] is not sufficient and we should do more," he asserted, as reported by Anadolu Agency (AA).

For the last few years, right-wing parties have increasingly found themselves making Europe's political weather. In mainland Europe, there are signs the far right is prompting other, more mainstream parties to take up more populist approaches.

In Italy, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, also the leader of far-right League Party, Saturday said that Europe had to "revive its soul lost for the sake of globalization." League Party organized a demonstration in capital Rome's Piazza del Popolo (People's Square), with slogans such as: "Italians first!" and "Italy, rise again!"

The League Party has been in the coalition government alongside with anti-system Five Stars Movement since July, and the far-right Italian party reiterated anti-refugee, Islam and European views during the demonstration.

Speaking during the organization, League Party head Salvini said that Europe was moving towards sinking. "There is a need for a Europe that would re-emerge with its identity and soul lost by some people in the name of globalization," he said.

The Family Minister Lorenzo Fontana also gave a speech at the demonstration; he called on the Italian Christian families not to forget their traditional values against globalization. Lorenzo said that they "shouldn't give up on their Christian values for the sake of toleration," noting that cross symbol should be present at the classrooms.

On the other hand, the left-wing parties of Italy criticized the League Party for not postponing its demonstration in Rome despite the fact that the country was mourning for six people who were killed following the stampede at a disco in the city of Ancona.

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