Le Pen, Wilders call for Eurosceptic bloc in EU assembly

“We will liberate Europe from the monster of Brussels.” Le Pen described the EU as a “powerful system which has thrown our peoples into slavery” and argued that parties such as her anti-immigrant National Front were no longer being viewed as pariahs by voters. “The day when patriotic movements were divided, sometimes in fear of being demonised, is long gone,” she said.

Eurosceptics Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen of France called on Wednesday for like-minded parties across Europe to create a new political group within the European Parliament after 2014 assembly elections.

The move, unveiled at a rare joint news conference in the Dutch political capital The Hague, is a bid to capitalise on what polls suggest is rising voter frustration with mainstream politics and the European Union ahead of the May vote.

But Europe’s nationalist parties have long struggled to form long-lasting alliances, and the call was quickly rebuffed by Britain’s Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP). At least 25 members are needed to form a group in the EU assembly and at least one-quarter of the EU’s 28 states must be represented.

“We are working together against the fact that Brussels is deciding everything,” Wilders told reporters.


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