Macron calls the rise of far-right parties an 'ill wind' for Europe

France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Monday raised the alarm over the “ill wind” of the rise of the far right in European politics, during a state visit to Germany ahead of key EU elections.

Macron noted a “fascination with authoritarian regimes” in Europe, singling out Viktor Orban’s government in Hungary for criticism.

“Everywhere in our democracies these ideas thrive, pushed by the extremes and in particular the far right,” Macron said in a speech in the eastern city of Dresden, a bastion of support for Germany’s far right.

“This ill wind is blowing in Europe, so let us wake up,” he said in front of the city’s famous Frauenkirche church.

Macron’s trip comes two weeks ahead of European Union elections in which polls are indicating his centrist coalition is trailing the far right.

It could even struggle to reach a third-place finish.

Macron, undertaking the first state visit by a French president to Germany in a quarter of a century, made a plea for the defence of democracy against nationalist forces as he arrived on Sunday.

“Europe is not just a place where we give ourselves common rules, it is a set of values,” Macron said.

“We must find the strength and commitment to defend it everywhere,” he added.


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