Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Battered EU Centre Holds Off Populist Surge in Vote

Battered EU Centre Holds Off Populist Surge in Vote

BRUSSELS - Europe’s mainstream political parties took a hit in elections on Sunday but held off a strong surge by the populist right of Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini and Nigel Farage.
In one of the world’s biggest democratic votes, the main centre-right and centre-left groups lost their combined majority in the European Parliament in the face of a challenge by eurosceptic and nationalist forces.
The symbolic clash of the campaign saw French far-right leader Le Pen’s National Rally on course to come in just ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist movement, damaging his drive for deeper European integration.
In Britain, Farage’s one-issue Brexit Party appeared to have trounced the main parties and he will send a large contingent of British eurosceptics to a parliament they want to leave in a few months. And in Italy, Salvini’s far-right League achieved a similar result, strengthening its role at the core of a vocal populist faction in the EU’s legislature.
The advance of the right was less pronounced in Germany -- where a strong showing by the Greens was reflected in a “green wave” in many countries -- but the anti-immigrant AfD broke the 10-percent barrier.
“We are facing a shrinking centre,” said German conservative Manfred Weber, lead candidate for the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission chief. (AFP)