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The Brief: European Left - a closer look

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Nico CUÉ and Violeta TOMIC, European Left lead candidates
Nico CUÉ and Violeta TOMIC, European Left lead candidates -
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© European Union 2019 - Source : EP - Fred MARVAUX
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The group of the European unitary left is small... but noisy.

It has 52 MEPs and usually attracts attention with their protests, in particular against the free trade agreement with Canada.

Another of his workhorses has been the fight against austerity... and that's how they received the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On austerity, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has a lot to say.

His party, Syriza, is the only one of the group that currently governs in a country of the European Union.

And after the massive dose of austerity that his country endured, this was his message: "We should study the Greek case, Europe should study this case because Greece was an experiment that was detrimental to our European common values."

Another country with a strong representation of the left in the European Parliament is Spain, with Podemos at the top.

In total Spain has ten far-left MEPs; Germany is next with eight seats; Greece with six. Portugal contributes four and the Irish nationalists of Sinn Fein four also. France, Italy and the Netherlands have three.

The group occupies the left-wing of the parliament. But only a few accept the label of communists.

In fact, in the group, there are different sensitivities, and only one party has agreed to designate its main candidates for the European elections.

The Belgian trade unionist Nicolas Cue and the Slovenian former actress Violet Tomic.

"Now liberalism is to blame for everything, you know. Neoliberal politics are those that make people so unhappy that they jump now on the hands of far-right populists."

The fight against social inequality is one of their main battles. But also pacifism, feminism and the rejection of the fortress Europe that denies entry to migrants.

During the last legislature, the head of the parliamentary group was the German Gabriele Zimmer: "Austerity policies and budgetary cuts are the magic potion of Mefistos"

According to the polls, in the European Parliament election, they could improve their results and get up to five more MEPs.

But for this they will need to join forces and leave behind the divisions that grip the Confederal Group of the European United Left and the Nordic Green Left.