Far-right leaders gather in Madrid

The 'far-right international', to use the words of the host organisation Vox, came together in Madrid at the weekend. Participants included Poland's former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Marine Le Pen, Argentinian President Javier Milei, Chega Chairman André Ventura, Giorgia Meloni (via video link) and Israeli Minister Amichai Chikli. What do they have in common - and how much clout does this supposed movement really have?

Open/close all quotes
El País (ES) /

A worrying alliance

El País emphasises what the participants have in common:

“In their Europe, the priority is to defend a white continent of Christian and heterosexual families. This common ground and their desire for power enables them to overcome all their internal contradictions. ... 'Feminist supremacism', 'woke totalitarianism' and 'socialist globalism' form an imaginary common enemy against which 'the global alliance of patriots' will launch its crusade. ... Madrid has revealed a complex and worrying phenomenon with a thousand faces (authoritarianism, demagoguery, populism, anti-liberalism, neo-fascism). ... This coherence contrasts with the utter confusion among the traditional conservatives, who remain unable to speak clearly about the Europe they really want.”

ABC (ES) /

Backed by Europe's impoverished middle class

ABC sees EU policy as one of the reasons for the growing popularity of the far right:

“The ease with which the systemic forces have dismissed the social discontent with the Agenda 2030. ... There are sectors that see the digital, ecological and energy transition as carrying the threat of impoverishment. ... The EU technocrats are making no effort to reassure the agricultural sector, the hauliers or small businesses. ... It's not on to simply write them off as backward, nostalgic or fascists. These are middle class and lower middle-class Europeans who are having trouble getting the dogmatic and self-centred elites to listen to them.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

Division will limit their influence in Brussels

The far right will not win a sweeping victory in the European elections, author Stephanos Konstantinidis writes in Phileleftheros:

“Various surveys show that far-right parties will very likely account for 25 percent of MEPs in the next European Parliament. In nine countries - Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia - they are expected to secure first place, and in another nine - Estonia, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden - they are expected to come in second or third. However, this European far right is split into two large groups, which will reduce its effectiveness and influence.”

LRT (LT) /

"Anti-system" stance just about causing trouble

LRT columnist Paulius Gritėnas questions one of the terms often used for such groups:

“Anti-system candidates, anti-system parties, anti-system media and views. What's behind this term? ... If you ask what exactly this system is supposed to be, usually you won't get an answer that provides a clear definition. ... It stretches from those in government to the judiciary, to the law enforcement agencies, to the media, the state institutions, the NGOs and even individual influential people. ... Being anti-system has nothing to do with resistance to overregulation, liberation or the fight for individual rights. ... It's merely an attempt to cast a net of conspiracy theories and disrupt or even destroy the existing order so as to create a state of instability and chaos in which one can bend things to one's own will.”