Current Events & Trends: European far right reemerges

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European far right reemerges

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Fairly recently Marine Le Pen's Front National Party made substantial gains in a local election in the South of France. Also a Flemish far-right party has recently emerged in Belgium with an anti-immigrant program opposed to EU freedom-of-movement laws. Its leader seeks independence for Flanders with its six million Dutch speakers.

Geert Wilders of the Netherlands Freedom Party seeks to form an anti-European (more correctly anti-Brussels) alliance with Le Pen's French right. Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party is now a credible force in London's politics, hoping his party will win big in the European Parliament elections in 2014.

The right is also stirring in Germany. Greek right-wing hostility to Brussels has markedly increased in the wake of Athens' economic meltdown during the last few years.

The title of a Financial Times article by Gideon Rachman urges readers to "Watch Out for the Rise of a European Tea Party" (Oct. 21, 2013). In contrast, a Reuters article by Paul Taylor carried this title in The International New York Times: "Center-Left Is Now Adrift in Europe" (Oct. 15, 2013).

Whether all this right-wing political activity will lead to extremism remains to be seen. Clearly the European right definitely bears watching! (Sources: The Observer [London], Financial Times, The International New York Times.)