The Far Right in Europe (I)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
This weekend in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, a meeting of all the far-right groups in Europe was convened by the Portuguese New Social Order and this created a big stir among the anti-fascist groups that took to the streets to show their opposition without becoming a problem for the far right.
Mario Machado, the leader of the New Social Order said they needed to give visibility to his conference and that it would be a very positive thing if every time they organize an event people came out and protested because they believe in freedom of expression.
The Portuguese government led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa has been heavily criticized for allowing the conference to take place. Activist Isabel Peres says that ‘these conferences where new racist and fascist movements from different countries come together, should not be allowed to happen in Portugal.’
Anti-fascist groups are organizing in the face of the strength that the far right is gathering in Europe. Despite this, the ultraconservative PNR (National Revolutionary Party) only obtained 0.50% of votes in the 2015 Portuguese legislative election.
In the last elections of the European Parliament in May 2014, the far-right forces won in France, the United Kingdom and Denmark, while worthy of note on the left is the rapid development of the attempt to vote in Syriza in Greece and Podemos and Izquierda (United Left) in Spain, among others.
There is a growing political polarization in a situation of serious social crisis with millions of unemployed people, low wages and falling living standards of large sectors of the population. There are also many groups outside the parliaments, although they are mostly in the minority, carrying out violent acts against immigrants, homosexuals or activists on the left.
The far-right parties that first emerged in their countries on May 25, 2014 were Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, Nigel Farage’s UKIP in the United Kingdom and the Danish People's Party of Kristian Thulessen Dahl Denmark which proposed that foreigners with legal residency in Denmark be paid to renounce their citizenship and leave the country.
For its part, the Law and Justice Party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland obtained 31% of votes, tying with the conservative party, Citizens’ Platform. In Austria, the FPO-Freedom Party received 21% of votes for the European parliament and Tony Bruner's Swiss People's Party, which wants to limit immigration, earned 26.6% of votes in 2011.
Addendum: We will continue this analysis of the far right in Europe.