Sunday, May 24, 2009

Libertas give cohesion to the far right in Europe according to Agence France-Presse

Two stories that highlight the real potential that Libertas have for giving the far right a cohesion in Europe. The first is from Agence France-Presse about the rise of the far right and Libertas potential in binding them together. The second is about the "final solution on Gypsies" adverts that a Czech party has recently run on TV.
The stories highlight the need to absolutely resist Libertas.

Ultra right vs immigrants in EU vote
By Sophie Pons
Agence France-Presse
First Posted 12:22:00 05/24/2009

PRAGUE, Czech Republic—Spreading an unashamedly anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant, and anti-European message, far-right parties are aiming to take the European Union Parliament by storm in looming elections.

From Bulgaria in the east of the 27-nation club to Britain in the wealthier west, hard-line parties are seizing on the fears of communities who have seen jobs lost and homes seized in the recession.

Governments across the European Union, particularly in the former communist East Bloc, have expressed concern about the rise of the extreme right.

The National Party in the Czech Republic has touted a "final solution of the Gypsy question" in television adverts for the elections which will be held across Europe from June 4 to 7.

"'The final solution' was a Nazi euphemism for a premeditated murder of millions of Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and people with disabilities," said Council of Europe secretary general Terry Davis.

"The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to the freedom of expression, but the Convention also sets limits. Personally, I believe that a call for 'a final solution to the Gypsy issue' falls well outside these limits."

Neo-Nazis from the rival Workers Party have held anti-Roma marches as part of their campaign effort and Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer this week called for the party to be banned.

In Hungary, hard-hit by the crisis, the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party has launched just as aggressively into the election campaign.

"The lesson from the 1930s is that an economic and social crisis, if it is not contained, not controlled, can give ground to a significant strengthening of radical movements," said Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai. "And we should stop that," he added.

The far-right could get at least 15 extra seats in the 736-member European parliament.

The British National Party (BNP) expects to get at least one seat as it steps up a breakthrough which has worried some commentators and mainstream politicians in the country.

With a "British jobs for British workers" slogan, the party's Cambridge University educated chairman Nick Griffin could get one seat.

The BNP has exploited a national scandal over lawmakers' expenses and warned against what it calls the European Union's "dangerous drive... to give 80 million low-wage Muslim Turks the right to swamp Britain."

Turkey's campaign to join the EU has featured strongly in many countries.

Bulgaria's Ataka party expects to win four seats with its "No to Turkey in Europe" campaign. In the Netherlands, polls suggest the Party for Freedom (PVV) of islamophobic lawmaker Geert Wilders will take two or three seats.

The Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) campaign calls for "the West in the hands of Christians." It could get up to 19 percent of votes in the election, giving it three of Austria's 17 European Parliament seats.

The other far-right party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO), may also get one European lawmaker, according to polls.

In Romania, the Greater Romania Party also hopes to get an EU parliament seat after a campaign under the headline: "Christians and patriots to rid this country of thieves."

In Finland, opinion polls have named Timo Soini, head of the True Finns party, as the most recognizable and most popular single candidate.

The party has seen a spectacular rise in support in recent years which observers attribute to its criticism of the government's immigration and EU policies.

"As long as there is a complicated and tense economic, financial, and hence social situation, we may expect violent reactions and an impact on voters' behavior," Brussels political analyst Pascal Delwit told AFP.

He said this was particularly true for eastern European countries, which have seen years of economic expansion halted by the crisis.

Delwit said it was difficult to assess how successful the far-right parties would be as "a considerable part of far-right voters generally do not show up for the EU elections."

The extreme-right is better organized now than ever before however.

Up to now, all the parties have never formed a lasting alliance at European level. But the new eurosceptic Libertas party, which stresses national sovereignty, expects to present its candidates in all 27 EU countries.

"Their rhetoric places them in the rich vein of populism, with the same discourse of denouncing the system," said Delwit.


Czechs shocked by anti-Roma TV ad

Roma demonstration in Prague, 11 Apr 07 (file pic)
Czech Roma have demonstrated in the past against perceived racism

The Czech government has expressed outrage over the broadcast of an anti-Roma (Gypsy) campaign advert by a far-right group on national television.

The head of Czech Television, Jiri Janecek, said the National Party (NS) video would not be broadcast again.

Interior Minister Martin Pecina has said he is now seeking to ban the NS.

The NS advert spoke of "a final solution to the Gypsy issue" and carried the slogan "Stop Favouring Gypsies" over images of Roma.

Prime Minister Jan Fischer and Human Rights Minister Michael Kocab said they considered the NS video illegal.

Earlier, a spokesman for Czech Television said that by law, it had no right to alter any party's election advertisements.

Mr Fischer said the advert evoked "the [Nazis'] Final Solution of the Jewish question during World War II", the AFP news agency reported.

Campaigning has just started in the Czech Republic for next month's European Parliament elections.

Roma, many of them impoverished, have long alleged that they suffer discrimination in the Czech Republic.

Mr Fischer has pledged to address the issue of Roma rights.

Last year his centre-right predecessor, Mirek Topolanek, tried to get a ban imposed on another far-right group, the Workers' Party, but in March this year a court refused to do so.

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