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08/12/2016

Europe’s extreme right leaders revel in Trump’s victory

Elections

Europe’s extreme right leaders revel in Trump’s victory

"Congratulations to the new president of the United States Donald Trump and to the American people free!" Marine Le Pen tweeted.

[European Parliament]

Europe’s nationalist and extreme right wing parties have reacted with glee to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. EurActiv’s partner Ouest-France reports.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a figurehead for Europe’s right wing nationalists, saw the election of the New York billionaire as “great news”. “Democracy is still alive,” he said in a message on his Facebook page.

In July, Orbán, the most vocal opponant of the EU’s refugee resettlement scheme, described Trump’s immigration and foreign policy plans as “vital”, and Hillary Clinton’s as “deadly”. He was the first European leader to take sides in the poll.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, of the Party for Freedom (PVV) took to Twitter to congratulate President-Elect Trump.

In the last hours of the American campaign, Trump’s entourage said the true extent of the property magnate’s support had not come through in the pre-election polls and predicted a dramatic victory in the style of the Brexit vote this June.

The comparison did not escape Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, who was the unofficial standard-bearer for the Leave campaign in the British EU referendum.

Germany’s anti-immigration party Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD), which made unprecedented breakthroughs in several German state elections in 2016, also sees the US election result as a validation of its own policies.

Trump victory could rob German far-right of US bogeyman

The Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) hailed Donald Trump’s election victory at first, but the new president could rob the far-right party of one of its main bogeymen that it uses to drum up support: the United States itself. EurActiv’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.

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“Donald Trump’s victory is a sign that the citizens of the Western world want a clear political change,” said Beatrix von Storch, the deputy leader of AfD.

In Austria, where Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer is favourite to win the re-run presidential election on 4 December, the extreme right also welcomed the result.

“The political left, as well as the distant and shadowy elites, have been punished by voters and ousted from power election after election,” said Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the FPÖ.

Belgium’s far right Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang also interpreted Trump’s victory against all expectations as a precursor of things to come in Europe. “The American election shows once again just how cut off politicians are from the people,” the party’s President Tom Van Grieken tweeted. “Trump’s march is not an isolated phenomenon. In Europe, too, more and more voters want real change. ”

In Greece, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn saw the election result as “a victory for the forces opposed to globalisation and illegal immigration and that believe in ethnically pure states and a self-sufficient national economy”.

“A big global change is happening, which will continue with the victory of the nationalists in Austria, Marine Le Pen in France and Golden Dawn in Greece,” a spokesperson for the country’s third largest party said.

Le Pen hopes Trump victory will sweep National Front to power

The election of a populist US president means “the supposedly impossible is possible”, Marine Le Pen said after Trump’s victory. But the French electoral system may stop the National Front rising to power. EurActiv France reports.

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In France, Marine Le Pen responded on Twitter at around 7:30AM on 9 November, before Trump’s victory had been confirmed, with “Congratulations to the new president of the United States Donald Trump and to the American people free!”

The leader of the National Front and candidate for the French 2017 presidential election was one of the few French politicians to back Trump.