Europe’s far-right leaders expressed hope Saturday for major political changes on the continent, following Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential victory.
French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, told a gathering of right-wing populist parties in Koblenz, Germany that the world would face the birth of a new order.
“The real blow to the old order, the thing that is going to set up the domino effect that would bring down all of Europe is Brexit,” Le Pen said, arguing that this would be the beginning of a process that would put an end to the supremacy of the EU institutions, and strengthen the sovereignty of nation-states.
“The second blow came very shortly after Brexit, and that was the election of Mr. Trump to the presidency of the U.S. putting to friends of neo-liberalism in a very difficult position indeed,” she said.
Le Pen claimed that 2016 had been the year when people in the Anglo-Saxon world woke up.
“So 2017 would be the chance for the people of the continent of Europe to join that movement,” she said.
Le Pen’s remarks at the congress of “Europe of Nations and Freedom”, an umbrella group of far-right parties at the European Parliament, were loudly applauded by delegates from nine EU countries, including France, Germany, Austria and Netherlands.
Geert Wilders, the leader of Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV), backed Le Pen’s view during his address at the congress.
“Yesterday, a new America. Today we’re in Koblenz. And tomorrow we will have a new Europe,” he said.
Wilders, who is expected to be in the lead in the March 15 parliamentary elections in Netherlands, has claimed that recent refugee influxes has made Europe unsafe, left European states with an existential crisis, and started to undermine the European civilization.
Sharply criticizing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy for refugees, he demanded limiting migration from Muslim countries.
Matteo Salvini , the leader of of Italy’s Northern League, Harald Vilimsky, the general secretary of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) and Frauke Petry, the leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD) were among the other participants of the congress of Europe of Nations and Freedom.