Far-right European parties announced Monday that they are forming a coalition with the goal of becoming "the strongest faction in the European Parliament" and transforming EU policies to fit their xenophobic vision.
As the Associated Press reported:
Italy's hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-migrant League party, told a news conference in Milan that the goal of the new movement in the EU-wide elections next month was to "win and change Europe."
At the top of their common agenda, the right-wing Euroskeptics demanded a halt to all illegal migration, stronger European borders, restoring political sovereignty to EU nations and protecting what they called "European culture."
Salvini was joined Monday by the far-right Alternative for Germany’s co-leader Joerg Meuthen, Olli Kotro of the euroskeptic populist party The Finns, and Anders Vistisen of the right-wing, populist Danish People's Party...
The leaders said their invitation was open to all like-minded parties to join the new bloc, which will be formed after the parliamentary election. That included any parties from Britain if Brexit hasn’t happened by the time European elections roll around.
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The far-right's effort to organize ahead of the European parliamentary elections in May comes as progressive candidates are aligning—under the banner of the European Spring—with the goal of defeating both the xenophobic far-right and the "inane" EU establishment.
"Europeans are losing their faith in the possibility of European solutions to European problems. At the same time as faith in the EU is waning, we see a rise of misanthropy, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism," DiEM25, the organization that helped form the European Spring, said in a statement last month. "If this development is not stopped, we fear a return to the 1930s."
"That is why we have come together despite our diverse political traditions—Green, radical left, liberal—in order to repair the EU," the statement continued. "The EU needs to become a realm of shared prosperity, peace, and solidarity for all Europeans. We must act quickly, before the EU disintegrates."
As Common Dreams reported, DiEM25 co-founder and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis unveiled the European Spring's slate of candidates for the May elections during an event in Brussels last month.
The progressive candidates are running on "A New Deal for Europe," a bold platform that includes a Green New Deal and a ban on tax havens in the EU.
"Today, we are celebrating the beginning of this campaign," Varoufakis said in a speech last month. "We are the only democrats with a coherent program... that can single-mindedly transform this Europe from a continent which is in the clasps of a two-faced authoritarianism into a continent that works for the many."