Far-right advances in EU polls, France calls snap vote

Liberal and Socialist parties set to retain a majority in the 720-seat parliament.

0

BRUSSELS (Reuters): Gains by the far-right in voting for the European Parliament on Sunday prompted a bruised French President Emmanuel Macron to call a snap national election and added uncertainty to Europe’s future political direction.

While the centre, liberal and Socialist parties were set to retain a majority in the 720-seat parliament, the vote dealt a domestic blow to the leaders of both France and Germany, raising questions about how the European Union’s major powers can drive policy in the bloc.

Making a risky gamble to try to reestablish his authority, Macron called a parliamentary election, with the first round on June 30.

Like Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also endured a painful night where his Social Democrats scored their worst result ever, suffering at the hands of the mainstream conservatives and hard right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni saw her position strengthened by her arch-conservative Brothers of Italy group winning the most votes, exit polls showed.

A rightwards shift inside the European Parliament may make it tougher to pass new legislation that might be needed to respond to security challenges, the impact of climate change or industrial competition from China and the United States.

However, exactly how much clout the euro-sceptic nationalist parties will wield will depend on their ability to overcome their differences and work together.

They are currently split between two different families, and some parties and lawmakers for now lie outside these groupings.

Leave A Reply