Marine Le Pen has presented her new Polish and British allies, who will be propping up her group in the European Parliament. But the details of their political programme are yet to be defined. EURACTIV France reports.
National Front leader Marine Le Pen announced the formation of the new Europe of Nations and Freedoms (ENF) group in the European Parliament, and presented her new collaborators at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday (16 June) morning.
“We have only just created the group, now we have to put our heads together,” a National Front MEP said.
The Europe of Nations and Freedoms group will be co-presided by Marine Le Pen and Marcel de Graaff, of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV). The group’s other parties are the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), Italy’s Northern League and the Belgian Vlaams Belang.
But it was the last-minute addition of two Polish MEPs from the racist KNP, and former UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson, that made the formation of the group possible.
In joining the group, the two Polish MEPs cut their ties with their party leader, Janusz Korwin-Mikke. The NF had previously ruled out forming a group with the KNP chief, whose views on issues as diverse as the Holocaust, rape and race were considered too extreme.
Departure of Jean-Marie Le Pen a deciding factor
Atkinson said that “the exclusion of Jean-Marie Le Pen from the National Front helped”. The MEP, who was expelled from UKIP for fiddling her expense accounts, said she was delighted to be a part of a “historic moment”.
She also said she had been present at UKIP meetings where the question of whether to join forces with the NF had been raised, and that she had more in common with the NF than with the Five Star Movement, which supported UKIP in forming the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group.
Who’s in and who’s out
Ludovic de Danne, the international affairs advisor to Le Pen, said he was convinced that the new group would be “an example and a solution for all of Europe’s parties”. The unelected de Danne was the principle architect of the ENF, along with National Front MEP Aymeric Chauprade, who has yet to officially join it.
Currently in Asia, Chauprade has so far been unable to sign the necessary paperwork.
Several MEPs from the NF delegation are not members of the new group, including Bruno Gollnish, who chose not to join, Jean-Marie Le Pen, whom nobody asked, and Joëlle Bergeron, who joined the EFDD group shortly after the elections in 2014.
Top priority: dissolving the eurozone
While the political programme Europe of Nations and Freedoms group is still undefined, it has already committed to strive for the dissolution of the eurozone.
“I think the negotiated exit of Greece would be better than brutally throwing them back into the eurozone, which is stupid and damaging,” Marine Le Pen said.
She criticised the current solution, which she said would lead “to a Cypriot-style scenario, where money would be taken directly from the Greeks’ bank accounts”. She added that “savers have every reason to fear for their savings in the eurozone”.
No plans to dissolve the European Union were mentioned at the press conference.