Analysis over at EUObserver of the emergence of the semi-respectable anti-Muslim/anti-EU far-right. It covers in particular a “summit” last Saturday (23 Oct) with Austria’s Freedom Party, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, the Denmark’s People’s Party, Italy’s Northern League, the Slovak National Party and the Sweden Democrats. They will attempt to get over a million signatures for an EU-wide referendum on (against) Turkish accession.
One has to smile at how these nationalists package their arguments with europhilia. Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache said Turkish membership would mean “That would be the end of the European Union and the beginning of a Eurasian-African Union that would completely go against our European peace project and must therefore not be allowed.” It is also a very strange twist to see that many of these anti-Islam, anti-immigration parties – whose nationalism was often traditionally antisemitic – to now be very sympathetic to the hawkish elements in Israel.
The British National Party and some radical Eastern European parties were explicitly not invited while France’s Front National was absent as well. We can see traditional center-right parties, especially in France but also now in Germany, being extremely fearful of this new incarnation of the far-right. The “moderates” are trying preserve their voter base by emulating the rhetoric and, partly, the policies of the “radicals”.