Le Pen, Wilders eye eurosceptic alliance
Marine Le Pen (L) meets Geert Wilders in the Dutch city of The Hague. AP photoEurosceptics Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen of France discussed Nov. 13 closer cooperation in a bid to capitalize on voter frustration with mainstream politics before 2014 European Parliament elections.
The two anti-euro, anti-immigration politicians have talked of joining forces for months to win a wider pan-European stage. Europe’s nationalist parties have historically struggled to overcome differences and form long-lasting alliances.
Le Pen, who met Wilders in the Dutch political capital of The Hague, wants to build ties with like-minded politicians in other countries. Her trip is part of a domestic strategy to make her party more acceptable to French voters and to capitalize on their rising dissatisfaction with the EU. “Allies identify her as the flag-bearer for a different version of Europe,” said Ludovic de Danne, Le Pen’s foreign policy adviser. Known for his platinum-blonde hair and anti-Islamic views, Wilders announced Le Pen’s visit last month, saying they would explore an alliance ahead of next May’s European Parliament elections. In order to form a rightwing anti-European bloc, Wilders and Le Pen would have to find likeminded politicians in at least a quarter of the EU’s 28 member states and see 25 members elected to the 766-seat European Parliament.