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France's Le Pen sees far right gaining strength in European elections

France's Le Pen sees far right gaining strength in European elections
By Foteini DoulgkeriPhilip Pangalos
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France's Marine Le Pen hopes her party will have more influence on the European agenda as far right parties are expected to make Euro election gains


The European far right is in power in Italy, Hungary, Austria and Poland, while public opinion polls show an increase in the number of seats in the European Parliament for the far right parties of France and The Netherlands.

Speaking from the start of a campaign of a new party in Bulgaria, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen told Euronews that their aim is that parties that share common values be included in their struggle. She also criticised French president Emmanuel Macron’s alleged lack of coalition building ahead of the European elections

"Emmanuel Macron introduced himself in Europe as a leader, but his movement is not going anywhere, he's not meeting anyone, he doesn't visit any country, we don't even know whom he will finally form a coalition with in the European Parliament," Marine Le Pen said.

Asked by Euronews if Viktor Orbán's party or Germany's AfD will join her group, she replied: "I don't know, we will see. It's certain that they defend, as we do, the right of nations to decide who enters countries. I believe that the most important freedom for a nation is to be able to control its borders."

Many analysts believe it is difficult for the far-right parties to present a unified front. 

Le Pen, who was in Bulgaria visiting her far-right allies from Volya party and attended a rally of the Bulgarian far-right party, dismissed suggestions of a rift with Italy’s Interior Minister and leader of the League Matteo Salvini, who is recruiting members for the far-right EU group, adding that she sees Salvini as an important ally.

"It's not just an issue of political collaboration. Matteo is a friend, he is a very loyal man with a strong will and he showed that in a few months, that political will is everything. Up to now we said it was impossible to control migration, he said 'yes we can', and he did it in Italy," she added.

"The polls show that there might be a much stronger far rightist voice in the next European Parliament and this means that Marine Le Pen's party is going to be in the position to really influence the European agenda," said Euronews correspondent Foteini Doulgkeri reporting from Sofia.

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