KOBLENZ, Germany — Marine Le Pen wasted no time in proclaiming 2017 as the year of far-right awakening in Europe.
“We are living through the end of one world, and the birth of another,” Ms. Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front party, told a cheering gathering of members of European right-wing parties on Saturday in this Rhine River city to chart a joint path to success in elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany this year.
“In 2016, the Anglo-Saxon world woke up,” Ms. Le Pen said. “In 2017, I am sure that it will be the year of the Continental peoples rising up.”
The triumph of anti-Europeans in Britain and Donald J. Trump in the United States has galvanized the Continent’s far-right parties, who are making appeals to disillusioned voters already bitter over social inequality, loss of sovereignty and waves of migration. And, amid suspicions that Russia is trying to destabilize the Continent by allying with the right, Europe’s mainstream parties may be forced into awkward, or ineffectual coalitions, to preserve their power and keep extremists out.
Geert Wilders, a Dutch nationalist whose anti-Islam Dutch Freedom Party currently leads the polls for spring elections in the Netherlands, was emblematic of the confidence of the far-right at the meeting.
“The world is changing,” he said. “America is changing. Europe is changing.” He added: “It started last year with Brexit, yesterday there was Trump and today the freedom-loving parties gathered in Koblenz making a stand.”
“The genie will not go back into the bottle again, whether you like it or not,” he said.Read More...
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