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Far Right's Rise In European Elections Deepen Anxiety, Concerns

14.06.2024 18:27

Far right, which has been on rise in national elections across EU, made mark on European Parliament elections as well.

By Selen Valente Rasquinho

BRUSSELS (AA) — The results of the elections that will determine the next five years of the EU were marked by the gains of far-right parties, while EU citizens have expressed "anxiety, unease, fear, and sadness" over the results.

The European Parliament elections were held across the EU on June 6-9 to determine the bloc's lawmakers for the next half-decade. The results confirmed a rising trend that has been observed in Europe for years.

In recent years, the far right has manifested itself in national elections in different European countries. Now, the gains noted in important member countries have also come about in the European elections.

These parties, prominent for their anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and Euroskeptic stances, emerged on top in the elections in France, Italy, and Austria, while settling for second place in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

'I didn't like that many people voted for the right-wing'

Lutz Koppen, who came to Brussels to experience the election atmosphere after voting in Germany, told Anadolu: "I'm worried, I didn't like that many people voted for the right wing. I think it's a bit dangerous. I'm worried about this."

"Look at history. We have a very bad past with the right wing," he said.

'This is clearly a cause for concern'

Simon Osler, who said he was a social sciences graduate, told Anadolu: "You know, this is clearly a cause for concern. But I also think there's a side to this that requires us to understand why people voted this way. It's people shouting that they're not happy with how things are going."

He noted that the rhetoric of the far right is fundamentally based on anti-immigrant sentiments, adding:

"The best thing to do is, of course, to continue working together. We must ensure that people do not feel excluded or ignored. We must also make sure that we try to be tolerant towards each other."

Scary and saddening

For Alexandra Levenheck, who said she was half-French and half-Lebanese, it was frightening to see so much support for the far right in her country.

"I was afraid of the far right having so many supporters in France," she said.

Noting that many people are unaware of how the elections could impact life in the bloc, Levenheck said: "That's scary. I hope what is happening now will lead us in a better direction. Macron's decision (to call early elections) was risky, but I think it's worth it."

Daria Malevka, who is of Ukrainian origin, told Anadolu: "We are saddened by the increase in support for the far right."

"Far-right parties have a direct connection with Putin's Russia and the war in Ukraine," she said.

"I eagerly await the expansion of the EU, cooperation with other candidate countries of the EU, and Ukraine. I hope these election results will not harm this process," Malevka added. -

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