Far right wins big in European Parliament elections

The far right — and I mean the FAR right — appears to have won big in Europe’s parliamentary elections that took place yesterday.

The biggest winner was France’s anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Semitic and racist National Front, which won 26% of the votes — more than it has ever before.

In Greece, quasi-neo-Nazi Golden Dawn saw gains too.

In the UK, it fringe party, the Independent Party, also scored major gains.

According to writer David Patrikarakos, here’s the shakedown of how much the far right appears to have won in each country:

Far right votes in EU elections:
25% France
23% Denmark
22% UK
20% Austria
15% Hungary
13% Finland
12% Greece

Extremists on the march in Paris.

Extremists on the march in Paris.

Turnout was low, below 50%, which in Europe is pretty abysmal. A lot of my European friends said these votes were mostly, they think, “protest votes.” Meaning, the voters may not necessarily like the far right, but they’re voting for it anyway as a sign of their discontent with the status quo parties.

Though, one observer from Greece said nuh-uh, this was in fact a vote for the extremists:

“The rise of Golden Dawn is the most alarming result of this elections,” Christos Dimas, a lawmaker for New Democracy, said in a phone interview. “This time it was a conscious vote for the extremists. Voters could not say they didn’t know what Golden Dawn stands for.”

More on Golden Dawn via Sonni Efron’s commentary in the LA Times, writing about last week’s local elections:

In local elections held Sunday, 16% of Athenians voted for Ilias Kasidiaris, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s candidate for mayor of Athens. Kasidiaris, who sports swastika tattoos and once read from “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” on the floor of Parliament, did even better in the neighborhood where Plato founded his Academy, winning 1 in 5 votes there, three times what the party won in 2012…

Among the candidates running under the Golden Dawn banner (which looks strikingly like a Nazi flag) are two retired generals who have held senior positions in the Greek military. One worked at NATO Central Command and on the European Union military staff, while the other commanded Greek special forces.

Two other Golden Dawn candidates for the Euro elections flew to Moscow this spring to meet with Alexander Dugin, an ideologue and longtime Vladimir Putin supporter, on the desirability of a Eurasian alliance between Russia and its former Soviet satellite states. Dugin has been meeting with far-rightists from across Europe.

Ironically, for all the worry some on the left had about Ukraine “going Nazi,” today’s elections in Ukraine showed only 1% voting for the far-right Pravy Sektor party. Though that didn’t stop Russian state television from claiming that Pravy Sektor won the entire election with 37% of the vote (seriously, they really claimed this).

As I noted before, perhaps those who are parroting Vladimir Putin’s failed talking points should direct their concern to Europe, and America, rather than a country that’s about to gobbled up by the mini-me version of the Soviet Union.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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