Sebastian Kurz, Austria's Prime Minister
I would organize a referendum on this subject. And based on what happened in the negotiations that I would undertake, I would tell the French, "Listen, I obtained what I wanted, and I think we should stay in the European Union," or, "I did not get what I wanted, and I believe there is no other solution but to leave the European Union.     

                                     Marine Le Pen, September 2016
Europe is on the edge, and for good reason. BREXIT, the refugee crisis, terrorists’ attacks and Trump’s victory have  fractured the continent. France's national elections on April 23 could push Europe over the edge. 

A victory for the National Front's Marine Le Pen, in the first round of France’s presidential elections, might trigger the breakup of the European Union. 

Le Pen won't win a 50 percent plus majority on April 23.   Nevertheless, as one of the top two vote getters she will qualify for the final runoff on May 7. That's when anything can happen. 

Headed into March, Le Pen led the polls with 25 percent of voter support. En Marche! candidate and former Minister of the Economy, Emmanuel Macron was one point behind at 24%. 

Scandal has engulfed the self-immolating campaign of Francois Fillon, the conservative nominee of "The Republicans." He was polling at 21 percent before the police began investigating him for paying his wife and friends $700,000 euros for jobs that didn’t exist.

A week later the press revealed that Fillon received an interest-free, undeclared loan of 50,000 euros from a billionaire businessman in 2013. His supporters are scrambling for the exits. 

At the bottom of the heap is Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon polling at 16 per cent. All the sins of French President Hollande's pathetic administration are being visited on his campaign. 

In the midst of the populist wave washing over Europe, four established presidential candidates--two former presidents and two former prime ministers — have dropped out or been rejected by the voters.  

2017 is the year of the outsider. The masses are in the mood to punish the established order. That's why an upset victory for Le Pen and her anti-Islamic, anti-immigration, anti-globalist, Euroskeptic “France First” agenda is not out of the question. 

After the February BREXIT vote, the impact of a Le Pen victory will swing Europe's political momentum further toward the dissolution of the EU. It will also put more wind in the sails of the emerging uber nationalist right-wing parties.      

France has Europe's third largest economy, it's second largest nuclear arsenal and is a leading EU's contributor to NATO. Thus Le Pen's political impact on Europe will be multi-dimensional.  

In a September 2016 interview about French-EU relations, Le Pen said “I would tell the French, Listen, I obtained what I wanted and I think we could stay in the European Union or I did not get what I wanted and I believe there is no other solution but to leave the European Union.” 

Le Pen's position on the EU highlights the deepening split in Europe between the pro-globalist wing headed by German Chancellor Angel Merkyl and the economic nationalist wing led by Nigel Farage of UKIP. 

The ramifications of Le Pen's ultra-nationalist position have not been lost on Washington. A Le Pen presidency would move France much closer to Russia. Le Pen insist that "Russia and France have a shared history and strong cultural affinity. And strategically, there is no reason not to deepen relations Russia. The only reason we don't is because America forbids it."         

Le Pen assertions that France must reclaim it's economic and political independence can be fashioned into a compelling case. With Europe tottering on the brink of financial insolvency, Le Pen's threat to lead France out of the EU's single currency could invite chaos across Europe. ​And why wouldn't France return to the franc?

The IMF has declared that the Euro is overvauled by six percent but undervalued by 15 percent to its main European competitor Germany. That 21 point spread is killing France's competiveness in Europe. As Le Pen observed "The euro is a currency created by Germany, for Germany. It's a suit that only fits Germany."     

With an unemployment rate in France of 10%, La Pen also wants major changes in the EU’s “Posted Worker Directive” policy. The PWD that allows the free movement of workers between EU countries has brought thousands of skilled lower-wage Eastern European workers from Poland and Hungary. 

Le Pen's hardcore anti-immigration stance cannot be underestimated. In the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks the clamor against the EU's open border policy is real.
So is the France's anti-Islamic backlash. One-third of Europe's Muslims live in France and the cultural wars over the issue of adopting a multi-cultural approach or assimilation is raging. There is every reason to believe that the currents of white nationalism will grow stronger over the short run.   

France is a ticking time bomb. But unlike Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen is not an uninformed, flame throwing demagogue. An attorney by training, Le Pen won her first political office in 1998 as a regional councilor. In 2011 she succeeded her father as leader of the National Front. 

In six years she has guided the National Front from the political margins to the mainstream--from an opposition party to a party positioned to govern France. That journey included expelling her father from the party when he said that the "Holocaust" was a "detail" in history.

Le Pen's candidacy remains a long shot. France will have to shift from a center-left to a center-right country. Even if Marine Le Pen's presidential bid is turned back, she could still garner enough support to force a national referendum on France leaving the EU (FREXIT) and jettisoning the euro single currency.

Since 1789, France has been the cradle of European revolution. In 2017, they may like up to that reputation again.   


Le Pen's French Revolution: The Battle for Europe
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Alt-Right-Trump Watch
The Euro Alt White - 2016 Europe and Nations and Freedom Conference in Milan - Italy, Janice Atkinson of UK, Lorenzo Fontana of Northern Italy League, Tomio Akamura of Czech Republic, Marcus Pretzell of Germany, Hans Christian Strache of Austria, Harald Vilimsky of Austria and Marine Le Pen of France.
Victor Orban - Prime Minister of Hungary 
The Alt White International
Austrian voters have just thrown their lot firmly behind the center-right and far-right political parties, shifting the political future of the landlocked country — and potentially that of Europe itself. 

At the center of Austria’s political shift is Sebastian Kurz, a 31-year-old wunderkind who rode a wave of anti-immigrant anxiety to position himself as the country’s probable next chancellor and the world’s youngest leader. 

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How Hungary Became a Haven for the Alt-Right

The increasingly illiberal European country offers shelter to a growing number of international nationalists.

In February 2017, at the state of the nation address, Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary and the leader of the far-right, anti-immigrant Fidesz party, offered his vision for the country in the coming year. “We shall let in true refugees: Germans, Dutch, French, and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands,” he proclaimed.

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   The State of European Populism
                                                                  by Eordred                                                                                                                                                                                                           February 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Since the American Alt Right fell apart, many commentators and outlets which formerly identified as “Alt Right” have started pointing towards European populism as an example to follow, and are often heard to say that the nationalist cause is much further ahead in Europe. As a European, I would like to comment on this, based on the Dutch populist movement, which is relatively strong for a Western European country. I would like to analyze some of the ideological issues related to populism, and illustrate it with examples from my native country, The Netherlands. First, let me list those parties which are considered populist:
Front National, France. They recently changed their name to National Rally (Rassemblement National). They currently have seven seats in parliament (out of 577), but are generally able to mount a presidential challenge as the main opposition. They got thirty percent of the votes in the last presidential election. The party began in the 1970s as part of the hardline nationalist wave in Western Europe that also gave rise to the National Front in the UK.
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Great Britain. It is half-populist, having begun mainly as a euroskeptical libertarian party. It currently has no parliamentary seats, but polls consistently show that it has around five percent of the vote. While currently weak, it was the threat of UKIP’s rise prior to Brexit which fueled the Conservative government’s decision to put the issue of leaving the EU to a vote, and depending on how Brexit goes, it could experience a revival.
Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Germany. Like UKIP, it started as a libertarian anti-EU party but has shifted towards populist anti-immigration and anti-elite positions. It holds 91 parliamentary seats (out of 709) and is showing growth on all fronts. It currently polls at around twenty percent of the vote.
Vlaams Belang, Belgium. Formerly the Vlaams Blok, it has since rebranded and maintained its popularity. It holds three parliamentary seats (out of 87), currently polling at seventeen percent of the vote. It is unlikely to get into power unless the N-VA, the biggest conservative party, chooses to break the cordon sanitaire that has been in place since the party’s creation and invites them into a coalition.
Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats), Sweden. Originally more radical nationalist in orientation, they successfully rebranded in the 2000s but are still haunted by their history and have been kept out of power by the other parties. It holds 62 parliamentary seats (out of 349) and polls at eighteen percent.
Freiheitliche Partei Östereichs (FPÖ, Austrian Freedom Party), Austria. It has gone through several phases of rebranding, and is currently presenting itself as a populist anti-Islam, anti-immigration party. It is currently in government with its coalition partner, the ÖVP, the traditional Christian Democrat party, but the latter has shifted slightly more towards populism under its new leader, Sebastian Kurz. It is not, however, outright populist. The FPÖ has 51 parliamentary seats (out of 183).

Lega, formerly Lega Nord, Italy. Lega is one of the two faces of Italian populism, the other being the more Leftist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S). They are in a joint ruling coalition. Lega was originally a reactionary separatist party aiming to split northern Italy from the poorer south, created in 1991. Lega holds 125 parliamentary seats (out of 630), but has doubled its popularity in the polls since coming to power. M5S is economically very socialist, but is also anti-immigration, and holds 250 parliamentary seats.
Fidesz, Hungary. It is the country’s current ruling party, with a single-party majority. They hold 117 parliamentary seats (out of 199). Historically, they were more of a Christian Democratic party, but took a populist turn following the 2015 refugee crisis due to pressure from the rise of even more radical Right-wing Jobbik. Jobbik is the biggest opposition party, but in recent years has moved from the Right to the center, and has lost most of its original Right-wing supporters, who have either gone back to Fidesz or have joined the new Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party.
Sprawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS, Law and Order Party), Poland. This was another ordinary Christian Democrat party which was forced into a populist role due to EU meddling and attempts to force immigration on them. PiS is by no means a typical populist party, although it is hard to define what typical means. It opposes immigration, but does not have the usual euroskeptical and anti-elite positions that most populist parties have.
A few European countries have parties that are not really populist, but are more explicitly far Right, as their main nationalist representatives. These would include Chrysí Avgí (Golden Dawn) in Greece (16 out of 300 seats), Perussuomalaiset (True Finns Party) in Finland (17 out of 200 seats), and EKRE in Estonia (7 out of 101 seats). Other countries, such as Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Portugal, do not have an established political opposition of either a populist or far Right variant. Usually this is because they do not have immigration issues, and because they see the EU as beneficial to them. There are, however, embryonic Rightist parties and movements in almost all of these countries. The most recent of these to move from the fringes to the limelight and electoral success is the Spanish party Vox, which has gained ten percent in the polls and won several state-level parliamentary seats in Andalusia.
Several other parties which might have been called populist have become defunct or irrelevant over time. In the UK, for example, the British National Party (BNP) and the National Front have mostly disappeared. The UK in particular hasn’t been able to establish a populist movement with staying power. UKIP is moribund, and the BNP died in 2012, after having been the most successful post-war far Right party in the UK up to that time. The National Front has been reduced to a few hundred elderly members. Still, UKIP, with their steady five percent share of the vote, has more support than Portugal’s PNR, for example, which gets 20,000 votes at most in any given election, and is the only Right-wing party of any sort in the country.
On the whole, I would categorize populist parties into three groups. There are the “New Parties” like UKIP, AfD, Lega, and PVV, which do not have their origins in an established political tradition like socialism, liberalism, or conservatism, but are rogues with a very contemporary agenda based on current issues, and they have been shaped by these issues. Then there are the reformed radical nationalist parties who have abandoned their earlier positions in favor of more moderate, but vote-gaining, issues. These would be parties like the FPÖ, the Sweden Democrats, and Vlaams Belang. And thirdly, there are the Christian Democratic and liberal centrist parties who have been forced to turn toward populist policies due to circumstances or pressure from their base: Fidesz and PiS. Of the three, the most anti-establishment and most authentically populist are the New Parties. We can see that there is no fixed template for a populist party. They are all from diverse backgrounds, hold very different economic and social views, and in many cases have only turned populist because they see it as a winning electoral strategy, or due to more pressing concerns arising than their former agenda.
On the fringes of these three types of populist parties, there are two new developments that could possibly shift or influence electoral populism in the future, and these include the identitarian movement, that mainly holds sway in France, Austria, and Germany, and a few groups inspired by the American Alt Right, like Erkenbrand in the Netherlands, Allianssen in Norway, and Schild & Vrienden in Belgium. These formerly Alt Right groups have since distanced themselves from the American Alt Right and adopted more native nationalist aesthetics and rhetoric, however.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To Read Complete Article Click Here