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Romania new Far-Right voices
by Rene Wadlow
2007-01-22 08:38:02
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Without fear, but with a spirit of realism, we must note the creation within the European Parliament on 15 January 2007 of a Far-Right bloc claiming to represent 23 million people. The bloc, which has taken the name “Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty” (ITS) was able to bring together the 20 European Parliament deputies (MEP) needed with the arrival of five representatives of the Romania Mare (Greater Romania) party.

The creation of a bloc, which requires at least 20 MEP from six countries, provides additional speaking time, the ability to present motions, to serve as officers of committees, and one million euros to cover administrative costs.

There have been Far-Right coalitions in the European Parliament before: 1984-1989 called the European Right, and from 1989-1994 called the Technical Group of the European Right, thanks largely to the National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen. The influence of these Far-Right blocs in the Strasbourg Parliament has always been limited. However, the parties have been able to increase their legitimacy at home through their membership in the European Parliament.

Again, it is Professor Bruno Gollnisch of the National Front who will be president of the ITS group. Gollnish is intelligent and has learned political skills both at the European Parliament and in the swamps of French nationalistic politics. His stated aim is to defend “Christian values, the family, and European civilization”. His seven member French group makes for the largest segment of the ITS.

The Romanians’ Romania Mare with five MEPs is the second largest group. Within Romania, it is a coalition based on hatred of Hungarians, Roma, homosexuals and imaginary Jews. The Romanians are joined by their lone Bulgarian colleague Dimitar Stoyanov, who, at 23, is the youngest member of the Parliament - thanks, no doubt, to his stepfather being President of his party, Ataka, which received eight percent of the vote in the national elections in 2005. Ataka’s policy is largely limited to repeating “Bulgaria for the Bulgarians”.

If Ataka leaders model themselves on their image of Hitler, the Italian member of ITS, Alessandra Mussolini, has a model closer to home.

It would be wrong, however, to take the ITS MEPs only for clowns and throwbacks to the ideologies of the 1930s. They represent the most visible part of a dangerous ideological-political current, which at national levels have the ability to influence politics in a narrow xenophobic direction. Hate is the core value of its identity, and hate is the core of its tradition even if in Austria it chose the name of “Freedom” and in Switzerland and Denmark of “People”.

The policies of the ITS should be watched closely. While the ITS hardly speaks for the 23 million Bruno Gollnisch claims, they embody fears, hates and policies seen at local, regional, national and now European levels.

Rene Wadlow and Ovi magazine now invite you to post a comment to leave your thoughts, feelings and reaction to this article.

Rene Wadlow is the editor of the online journal of world politics www.transnational-perspectives.org and the representative to the United Nations, Geneva, of the Association of World Citizens.

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