Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warns about political rise of far-right in Europe

January 26, 2017 8:00 pm

Spanish Prime Minister (AFP photo)

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has expressed deep fears about the rise of far-right, nationalist parties in countries like France and Germany, saying their victory in elections would be a disaster for all .  
“I don’t even want to think about it, that would be a disaster; it would simply mean the destruction of Europe,” Rajoy said in an interview on Thursday, in clear reference to France’s presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen.
“Mrs Le Pen has announced plans for a referendum. She wants (France) to leave Europe, as if Europe were the source of all misfortunes. I would like it if she visited the rest of the world,” he added.
The Spanish premier expressed same concerns about Germany’s AfD, an anti-immigration party, which has managed to gain more popularity in the country through opposing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal asylum policy.
Rajoy said entire Europe should be sensitive about future elections in France and Germany as their outcome would affect the future of the European Union.

(From left to right) Geert Wilders, Frauke Petry, Harald Vilimsky, Marine Le Pen, and Matteo Salvini speak to the media during a conference of European right-wing parties on Jan. 21, 2017 in Koblenz, Germany. (Photo by Getty Images)  

“It is essential for the future of Europe that the elections in Germany and France go well,” he said, adding, “This is not going to happen. I am convinced that things will turn out alright in Germany and I am absolutely convinced there won’t be a problem in France.” 
France will hold presidential elections on April 23 and May 7. Germany has also slated parliamentary polls for September 24.
Many fear the two European powerhouses could slip into the hands of nationalists who have highly capitalized on results of recent US presidential election and Britain’s decision in June to leave the EU.
The far-right parties have also benefited from a refugee crisis in Europe, which began to hit the continent two years ago.
Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, has vowed that she would organize a referendum on France’s membership in the EU if she becomes president.
Polls suggest Le Pen could make it to the runoff where she would lose to conservative candidate, Francois Fillon. Rajoy expressed hope in his interview that Fillon could emerge as the winner in the French election.
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