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  • Anti-fascists protest against a march of far-right supporters of the party Die Rechte during a May Day rally through the streets of Duisburg, Germany

    Anti-fascists protest against a march of far-right supporters of the party Die Rechte during a May Day rally through the streets of Duisburg, Germany | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 May 2019

According to the French media RFI, the European far-right could achieve "a fifth of the seats or even more" during EU's next elections. 

The United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, said on Wednesday that the advance of a new class of nationalist, far-right leaders in Europe is reminiscent of the 1930s when Nazis rose to power.

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“We cannot allow human beings to be treated the way they are being treated. The signs of the ‘30s are resurfacing,” Dieng, a Senegalese lawyer, told a media briefing in Geneva, adding that “unless we are blind or of bad faith, we should admit that it’s time to stand up.”

As the Nazis did during their rise to power, rhetorics of fear and hate against an “other”, who is to blame for every wrong in society are now again being used by far-right parties across Europe. In the same manner, Hutu officials promoted hate speech to justice the genocide of an estimated 800,000 Tutsi Rwandans between April and June 1994. Both cases, are examples of how fear, hate, and discrimination were narrative tools to push towards fascism and death. 

The international expert urges Europe’s center-left to do more to oppose a resurgence of xenophobia, which is one of the main campaign rants that have propelled far-right populists into national parliaments across Europe. He accused left-wing parties and politicians of playing cynical political games instead of strongly fighting the far-right.

A rather alarming issue, as European elections are looming. From May 23 to 26, EU citizens will have to choose 705 representatives, down from 751 because of the Brexit debacle. 

According to the French media RFI, the European far-right could achieve "a fifth of the seats or even more." Among the main far-right parties are the Marine Le Pen's National Regroup (RN) from France, Matteo Salvini's Italian League, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD). 

Meanwhile, during Spain's national elections on April 28, the far-right party Vox obtained about 10 percent of seats in parliament, meaning the resurgence of ultra-conservatives since the fall of Francisco Franco's dictatorship. 

Dieng also mentioned the damage done by "powerful states" pulling out of international commitments, and by anti-immigrant politicians in Hungary and Italy. On this issue, he referred to the remarks about Muslim burqas made last August by former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, which prompted extremists to assault British Muslim women.

“This shows exactly how dangerous it is when someone who is in a position of leadership, who can influence, is using a discourse which can impact terribly on the lives, the security and the safety of human beings,” Dieng concluded. 

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