European Far-Right, Nationalist Parties Meet in Milan

Colleen Barry, AP January 29, 2016

Sharing the stage with leaders of other European populist parties, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Friday that Europe’s nationalist parties are ready to step in and clean up when European structures fail under current immigration and monetary policies.

Le Pen spoke at the end of the first meeting of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group within the European Parliament, which was formed last summer. The 36-member parliamentary group is the smallest in the European Parliament, but includes some parties gaining strength in the polls in their home countries.

At a news conference, Le Pen along with populist leaders from host Italy, the Netherlands and Austria expressed their common view that Europe’s borders must be closed to mass migration from the Middle East and Africa and said that sovereignty over such policies must be restored to nations. They cited both the threat of terrorism and the strain on budgets.

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Also attending the Milan event Thursday and Friday were leaders of nationalist parties from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

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