Itongadol.- Taking advantage of massive immigration influx and the devastating financial crisis, far-right parties win major gains in Europe.
The rise of far-right politics in Europe reached new heights in last Monday\’s elections in Hungary when "Jobbik", the self-professed \’radical right-wing\’ political party which has often been accused of blatant anti-Semitism, won 20.54% of votes, making it the third largest party in the country and the single largest extreme right party in Europe.
Hungary however, is not alone. In the last decade, in particular in the wake of the EU\’s economic crisis and ongoing influx of immigrants into Europe, the continent\’s far-right parties\’ popularity have made dramatic leaps.
"Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Europe are always connected to citizen\’s financial difficulties," Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University Shmuel Sandler told Ynet.
Sandler, who is also a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, added that: "When life is hard, people look for someone to blame, and populist parties know how to use this momentum to ride the wave of racism."
"The large amount of immigration into Europe scares the local population, especially when coupled with a low birth rate. There is a fear of letting in different cultures, different religions, and people who are generally different," said the professor.
"Europe is mostly secular, and suddenly immigrants from whom religion is extremely important are coming in, for example Jews and Muslims. The far-right hates everyone, and their hatred of foreigners manifests differently for different groups."
This is a review of the strongest and most prominent far-right parties in Europe.
The right-wing party "The Finns", born out of the party "The True Finns", was founded in 2005 and rose to popularity in Finland\’s 2011 elections when it garnered 19.1% of the vote (or 39 seats in the Finnish parliament). It is led by Timo Soini, and the win made Soini\’s "The Finns" the third largest political party in the country.
The far-right "Freedom Party of Austria" led by Heinz Christian Strache, won 22% of the votes in the country\’s last parliamentary elections.
The "National Front" party in France led by Marine Le Pen is well known for its opposition to the European Union, as well as immigration. The party won control of 11 towns in local elections held just last week.
"Golden Dawn", the far-right political party in Greece, won 18 of 300 seats of parliament in 2012 after receiving more than 6% of the vote, thus entering the Greece\’s house of representatives for the first time.