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Far-right leaders seek to sway young voters via social media for EU elections

Right-wing leaders on their social networks
Right-wing leaders on their social networks Copyright TikTok
Copyright TikTok
By Euronews
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Many populist or far-right parties want to attract the younger generation to join their elders and reject traditional parties.

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Far-right political parties have turned to social networking to help them target young people ahead of the European elections.

Tom Vandendriessche, a Belgian MEP for the Vlaams Belang believes the tactic may work as the younger generation is losing trust in traditional parties.

"I think that young people look at the future and the future looks grim for them. How could they have trust in these traditional parts, the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the Liberal Democrats who have been governing us for decades and who have brought us into this mess of uncontrolled borders, of mass migration, of insecurity, of Islamic terrorism?" says Vandendriessche.

To do this, the European far-right uses platforms such as TikTok. In Belgium for example, the Vlaams Belang posts frequently on social networks and spends huge sums of money trying to attract young voters.

Others who regularly post short videos, considered a format popular amongst young people they describe as 'disillusioned with politics', are Italy's far-right League party leader Matteo Salvini, Portugal's André Ventura, the leader of the far-right Chega party and France's Jordan Bardella, who is the president of the National Rally.

@matteosalviniufficiale

Accoglienza fantastica questa mattina al mercato di San Benedetto a Cagliari. Le cose belle❤️

♬ suono originale - Matteo Salvini

Nateo Carnot from Belgian is a 16-year-old first-time voter and echoes the sentiment:

"I believe that there is still a partial disinterest of the youth (for the vote) because we see politics as something from up high, men in big ties, in big cars that won’t listen. So there is a disinterest, we are afraid that whatever we do will not change anything, they won’t listen.”

Yet the 2019 European elections saw record turnout thanks to young people. 62 percent of all people polled considered joining the European Union to be beneficial - a figure which rises to 67 percent if only 18 to 29-year-olds are considered in the poll.

According to the recent Euronews- Ipsos survey, combating rising prices, reducing social inequalities and unemployment, supporting economic growth and fighting climate change are priorities for the majority of young people.

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