A post EU-election alliance between the French far-right National Front and the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is not entirely ruled out. EURACTIV Greece reports.
Officially, Marine Le Pen has sought to distance the National Front from Golden Dawn and other parties it sees as being too extremist.
But the political balances in the next European Parliament and the openly ambiguous stance of Golden Dawn make an alliance still look possible.
Le Pen wants to put together a new far-right group in the European Parliament after the elections. To do this, she needs a minimum of 25 MEPs from seven nationalities, leaving the National Front looking for allies to meet the threshold.
Given the traditional reluctance of nationalist parties to cooperate at a European level, National Front-Golden Dawn post-election cooperation should not be ruled out, said Michalis Peglis, a political analyst in Greece.
According to Peglis, there are strong mutual benefits for far-right parties to take in MEPs from Golden Dawn, which is likely to win 2 seats in Parliament.
“Golden Dawn would strongly favour being a member of the European far-right organisations to increase its legitimacy. A European affiliation would help them politically,” he told EURACTIV.
Golden Dawn’s MPs are currently incarcerated, due to an ongoing criminal investigation in Greece. But the Greek Supreme Court recently gave the party a green light to participate in the upcoming EU elections on 25 May.
And the party saw its approval ratings rise significantly as of late. Its candidate for mayor of Athens, Elias Kasidiaris, managed to get 16% of the vote, coming in 4th position.
The flirt has already started
Golden Dawn has so far remained tight-lipped about its intentions, but appears keen to demonstrate its potential to forge alliances at European level.
On its official website, the party makes reference to press reports in France suggesting that Le Pen’s National Front has expectations to cooperate with the Greek neo-Nazi party after the EU elections.
“In case Golden Dawn gets high results, Mrs Le Pen is mulling sending a congratulation letter [to Golden Dawn], a fact that will result in advancing a flirt that has already started between the French far-right and Greek Golden Dawn,” reads the article, written in Greek, and titled “Marine Le Pen looks forward to working with the Golden Dawn”.
A post EU election collaboration between Golden Dawn with the National Front remains uncertain, but will depend on the political context.
When asked about possible cooperation plans at European level, Golden Dawn MP Elias Panagiotaros recently said, “Of course we will cooperate provided that the nationalist parties of other EU member states do not have a hostile stance against Greece.”
This could however rule out the National Front, which has repeatedly protested against further aid towards the debt-ridden country “at the expense” of French taxpayers.
[Following the publication of this article, EURACTIV has received an email from Marine Le Pen’s office in the European Parliament. The message, in French (see below), categorically denies any link with Golden Dawn. “Les propos tenus par cet élu grec n’engagent que lui-même. Nous démentons avoir un quelconque lien avec l’Aube dorée grecque. Tout accord avec ce mouvement politique est exclu. Cet article est mensonger et diffamatoire“]
Far-right parties are expected to make significant gains in the next EU Parliament.
The National Front, which leads EU election polls in France and could send 16 MEPs to the European Parliament, is eyeing a vice-president role in a brand new far-right EU Parliamentary grouping.
The Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), the French Front national (FN), the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Belgian Flemish Interest (VB) and the Slovak National Party (SNS) are all expected to be part of it.
A minimum of 25 MEPs from seven nationalities is needed to form a parliamentary group, according to the European parliament’s rules of procedures.
- 25 May: EU elections and second round of local and regional elections in Greece
- Official website of Golden Dawn: Marine Le Pen looks forward to working with the Golden Dawn (12 May 2014) [In Greek]