EU braces for populist wave as expert warns potential for revolt ‘everywhere’ across bloc

EU faces potential far right movements 'everywhere' says expert

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Brussels faces the threat of a widespread populist revolt breaking out across Europe with anti-European Union parties making ground in many member states including Italy, Poland, Hungary and Holland. Political analyst Mariana Mendes, who has followed the rise of right-wing parties such as Matteo Salvini’s Italian League and Viktor Orban’s Fidesz, has insisted that the potential for nationalist parties to makes electoral gains is widespread even in those closely aligned with the EU such as Portugal and Ireland.

Ms Mendes told “There is potential for far-right parties everywhere.

“The kind of topics in which these parties mobilise on there is a demand for them among public opinion everywhere.

“So everywhere there is a substantial amount of people who hold anti-immigrant views or who have very strict views on law and order, which is another banner of the radical right.

Referring to public opinion surveys carried out by scholars studying the European far-right, she added: “There is actually there is the potential for this kind of parties everywhere including Portugal, Ireland and potentially some other countries that down have a radical right force or a relatively minor one.”

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The warnings comes after eurosceptic parties formed an alliance to challenge the rule of Brussels, and amid suggestions that the faction led by Italy’s Mr Salvini may be looking to join forces with Hungarian and Polish MEPs in the European Parliament.

Last week, Mr Salvini said: “I am in contact with the Poles and the Hungarians.

“We are working to create a new European group: I am in contact with the Poles and the Hungarians.

“Joining the EPP (European People’s Party) is not on the agenda.”

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Commenting on the news, Director of Eurointelligence Wolfgang Munchau said the group’s plan will be to “fight the EU from within”. 

He tweeted: “Orbán currently in discussions to form a united group of the far-right. It would be the 2nd-largest group in the PD, ahead of the Socialists and the Liberals.

“Goal is to fight EU from within.”

The move comes after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced his party, Fidesz, would leave the biggest parliamentary group in the bloc, the EPP.

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The announcement was welcomed by MEP Jerome Riviere a member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the close ally of Matteo Salvini hinted his party could also follow suit.

Marine Le Pen has also shown support for Portugals new far-right outfit Chega! (Enough). The party’s anti-establishment leader Andre Ventura obtained 12 per cent of the vote in the country’s presidential elections last January.

Ms Mendes has since warned that the “potential for a populist force” has been simmering in Portugal for a “long time,” and pointed to “alarming levels of distrust and satisfaction” with the political establishment in Lisbon.

She told “There was the potential to mobilise on populist attitudes in Portugal for quite a long time.”


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