Anti-Semitism Concerns Over New EU Right-Wing Alliance
The anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP) on Thursday opposed the prospect of joining the new European Union (EU) right-wing alliance being formed by Dutch politician Geert Wilders and French leader Marine Le Pen, citing concerns over Le Pen's perceived anti-Semitism.
The response follows the launch of Le Pen and Wilders's new alliance on Wednesday. The campaign seeks to create a new euro-skeptic bloc in the EU ahead of next year's European elections. Wilders, an outspoken critic of Islam, marked the occasion by saying "today is the start of the liberation of Europe from the monster of Brussels (the EU)."
While Wilders is seen as a staunch supporter of Israel, DPP spokesman Soeren Soendergaard told AFP his party does not like Le Pen's party, the National Front (FN), saying FN "has an anti-Semitic background."
Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been accused of being a virulent anti-Semite. While DPP recognized there were differences between the father and daughter, Soendergaard said "that doesn't change our position."
In response to concerns of anti-Semitism, Wilders stated that he rejects "the utterances of Mrs. Le Pen's father and from which Mrs Le Pen has distanced herself," adding, "I am convinced that there's not an inch of racism or anti-Semitism within her (Le Pen)."
The DPP has pushed for strong measures against immigration, and saw party support soar this year. The group is a member of the parliamentary group Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), led by the UK Independence Party's leader Nigel Farage.
Farage reportedly has opposed working with the new alliance, although Wilders said "I hope after next year's elections he will be able to join in our initiative."