European Parliament Elections Highlight Rise Of Nationalism

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The European Parliament elections
brought unexpected results as voters from 28 countries delivered the highest
turnout in a European election for 20 years. 

The elections put to test the
magnitude of influence of the nationalist, populist and hard-right movements
that have widened their clout on the continent in recent years.

In Britain, voters favored the
extremes over Conservatives, with the strongest showing for arch-Brexiteer
Nigel Farage. 

Farage’s newly formed Brexit party
received 31.71 % of the vote which is almost equivalent to the combined vote
shares of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s far-right
National Rally won with 23.31% of the votes, according to the French Ministry
of Interior, beating French president Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche
alliance on 22.41%.

In Italy, Deputy Prime Minister
Matteo Salvini’s right-wing Lega Party took home 34.33% of the vote.  

Meanwhile, in Hungary, far-right
nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party garnered 52.33% of the
country’s votes.

Likewise in Germany, Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition saw a drastic loss in support to the Greens
and to a lesser extent, the far right.

“Not only is the League the
first party in Italy, but Marine Le Pen is first in France, Nigel Farage is
first in Great Britain. Therefore, Italy, France and England: the sign of a
Europe that is changing, that is fed up,” Salvini said.

In Greece, Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras said he would call a snap election after his party gained disappointing
results in the European and local elections. 

The opposition conservative party
“New Democracy” won 33.25% of the vote, with a lead over the
governing Coalition of the Radical Left “Syriza”, currently at
23.74%.

Hungary’s increasingly authoritarian
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a possible ally of Italy’s Salvini, said he hopes
the election will bring a shift toward political parties that want to stop
migration.

According to Orban, the
migration issue “will reorganize the political spectrum in the European
Union.”

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