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Macron urges Europeans to 'wake up' against rise of far right

French President Macron and German President Steinmeier paid a visit to the Holocaust memorial during an official state visit in Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2024.
French President Macron and German President Steinmeier paid a visit to the Holocaust memorial during an official state visit in Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
Copyright AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
By Euronews with AP
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On his state visit to Germany, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Europeans to "wake up" and resist the growing influence of far-right parties, criticising countries that accept EU funds but undermine democratic principles.

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French President Emmanuel Macron urged voters and leaders across Europe to "wake up" and fight against the growing influence of far-right parties.

On the second day of his state visit to Germany on Monday, he told a crowd in Dresden, "This ill wind is blowing across Europe, it's a reality. So let's wake up."

The French leader also emphasised the strong ties between the European Union's longstanding powers, France and Germany, ahead of European elections in which far-right parties in both countries hope for gains.

Underlining the growing fascination with authoritarian regimes in Europe, Macron criticised how some countries accept EU funds while disregarding judicial independence, press freedom, cultural diversity, and academic autonomy.

"Let's look around us, (at this) fascination for authoritarian regimes. Look at Europe and the illiberal moment we're going through. Let's take Europe's money, but never mind about the independence of judges... forget about freedom of the press... about cultural diversity... about the autonomy of universities and academic freedom." he said.

“Fear of a changing world is feeding the rise of the far-right in Europe" the French leader added.

"Everywhere in our democracies, these ideas flourish, stoked by extremists, especially the far-right." 

The state visit, which began on Sunday, was originally scheduled for July 2023 but was postponed at the last minute due to rioting in France following the police killing of a 17-year-old.

While Macron is used to visiting Germany to coordinate EU and foreign policy, this is the first state visit with full ceremonial honours since Jacques Chirac's visit in 2000.

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