Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Far-Right Parties Win Big in Europe

The far-right scored a major victory in France and throughout Europe in the elections for the European Parliament.  
“When there is such a vote in France, a founding member of the European Union — when one in four vote for the (far-right) National Front, yes, there is a problem,” said French President Hollande. “This is not just a problem for France, but a problem for Europe.” (The New York Times, 27 May)
European presidents and prime ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to assess the fallout from the election, in which centrist political parties lost ground to fringe groups in country after country.
The mainstream parties “are all in a disaster because they have not done their job,” said Jean-Paul Fitoussi, an economics professor at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. “They have not found a solution to the problem of France, which is to recover, to have employment and growth.” (NTTimes, 27 May)
In France, 31 percent of voters surveyed by Harris Interactive cited immigration, the rallying point for the far right across the Continent, as their central concern. But nearly as many cited declining purchasing power, the crisis in the euro zone or rising unemployment.

Photo credit: Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Front, earned a stark victory in European Parliament elections. (European Pressphoto Agency/NYTimes)

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