Far-right parties forge alliance for the European elections
19 November 2013
On Wednesday, the leader of France’s Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, and the head of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), Geert Wilders, held a press conference in the Dutch parliament. The two far-right politicians announced that their parties will participate jointly in the European elections in May 2014 as the Alliance of Freedom. Other right-wing parties have signalled their support.
Le Pen and Wilders will place their opposition to the EU at the centre of the campaign. …
The Alliance of Freedom is to expand, with other members joining. Late last week, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) held a private meeting with the FN, the Belgian Vlaams Belang, the Italian Lega Nord, the Sweden Democrats and the Slovak National Party (SNS).
According to FPÖ chair Heinz-Christian Strache, the meeting witnessed an “intensive exchange of ideas on common goals and policies for cooperation at European level.” The central points of a common programme were the fight against immigration, the threat of “Islamization”, and the “faulty design of the euro”. The representatives of the six parties agreed that the euro should be replaced by national currencies in the long-term.
The new alliance will seek faction status in the European Parliament, which would require 25 MEPs from at least seven countries.
The right-wing Alternative for Germany declined an invitation. “Both parties do not come in question for us, now or in the future,” party leader Bernd Lucke told the broadcaster n-tv. “We will have nothing to do with the extreme right.”
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) also distanced itself from the Alliance. …
Earlier combinations of right-wing parties in the European Parliament, such as the Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty faction founded in 2007, quickly disintegrated as a result of national tensions.
Now the extreme right senses a change in their fortune. Five years of intense social attacks in almost every European country have discredited the EU and its institutions among broad layers of the population. The far right want to exploit this massive opposition to impose their own reactionary agenda.
For several years, the individual far-right parties have sought to combine their reactionary positions with social demagogy. Wilders has pushed his extreme neo-liberal economic policy demands into the background and now is aiming his fire primarily against the EU. …
The far right’s opposition to the EU has nothing in common with the interests of workers. The Alliance of Freedom articulates the interests of a section of the bourgeoisie and well-off upper middle class who, in the face of growing national conflicts, are looking for a return of the national currency and national economic policy. This is aimed directly against the workers.
Economic protectionism and a return to national currencies, as demanded by the Alliance, would have just as catastrophic consequences for workers as the EU’s austerity measures and the euro.
With the FPÖ, the Lega Nord, the SNS and PVV, a majority of the seven potential Alliance members have already participated in national governments. All these coalitions distinguished themselves by vicious attacks on workers’ social rights. From October 2010 to 2012, the PVV supported the Dutch government, which implemented brutal laws against migrants and stepped up state powers against the protests of the workers.
Other right-wing parties that have not been involved in national governments are being courted in ruling circles. For example, for quite some time, France’s conservative UMP has been wooing the FN, and is discussing possible cooperation.
In Greece, the openly fascist Golden Dawn has been systematically built up by the state to terrorize workers and suppress their resistance.
Despite this clear record, the far-right parties use their anti-EU stance and social demagogy to win votes from desperate elements of the petty bourgeoisie and even confused workers. …
The ultra-right can pose as opponents of the EU’s social attacks and win a certain influence because all the establishment parties and organizations defend the EU and its institutions.