‘Beginning of the end!’ EU’s future in doubt claims Nigel Farage as populist support soars | Politics | News

January 1, 2024
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Surging support for populist leaders across Europe, including Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, spells the “beginning of the end” for the European Union, Nigel Farage has claimed.

The former Ukip leader and GB News presenter told the Daily Telegraph: “Ukip and the Brexit parties were ahead of their time.

“The populist surge that we are going to see in the European elections next spring will mark the beginning of the end of the EU in its current centralised form.”

He added: “Gosh, I could have led a big group!”

Mr Wilders appears to be in pole position to be his country’s next Prime Minister, while Giorgia Meloni is already Italy’s leader.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party is up six points compared with the start of 2023 on 28 percent, and in Belgium – home of the EU – the right-wing Vlaams Belang is currently polling 25 percent.

This year is set to be a year of pivotal elections across the continent, not least the European Parliament itself, with citizens across Europe going to the polls between June 6 and June 9.

Finland, Portugal, Lithuania, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia and Romania are all scheduled to have important national elections this year as well.

In terms of the European Parliament in particular, right-wing parties are expected to perform strongly, with more than a third of elected MEPs likely to be at least critical of the bloc, up from 25 percent a decade ago.

Judit Varga, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s former minister of justice, has vowed to fight to establish a conservative majority.

She said: “The voice of the sovereignist voters cannot be ignored. Change is needed in Brussels, it is time to talk about reality and the people’s everyday life instead of listening to the lies and the denial of truth from the Brussels bureaucrats.

She added: “If we do not make a change in June, in 50 years we will not recognise the Europe we know today.”

Elizabeth Kuiper, associate director at Brussels-based think tank the European Policy Centre, said: “Clearly the result of the recent Dutch elections should be a warning for the EU.

“If more populist parties gain momentum there is a risk that EU countries will become more inward-looking, and positions will shift due to changes in government.

“Clearly the mobilisation of voters expressing political discontent needs to be addressed at the EU level in the years to come.”

Speaking last month, Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, warned: “Parties that can play on fear in human beings and offer bad responses to good questions can attract the support from the European population.”



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