The leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, has told a convention of right-wing, populist parties in Milan that Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis is set to impoverish the continent.
Around a thousand people attended the convention which also hosted Italy’s Lega Nord (Northern League), the Dutch Freedom Party, the Austrian Freedom Party, and more.
In her opening remarks, Le Pen said the influx of migrants arriving on the continent would “impoverish European nations and kill their civility forever”, reports AP.
The meeting was hosted by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group in the European Parliament. The group was finally able to form after years of Ms. Le Pen and her European allies struggling to meet the criteria of finding 7 member state Members of the European Parliament to join. She was finally tipped over the edge by the expulsion of the UK Independence Party’s Janice Atkinson MEP, who joined the group last year.
Dutch firebrand politician Geert Wilders was also at the meeting, along with Heinz-Christian Strache from the Austrian Freedom Party.
“We all agree that Europe and European culture and freedom are under threat today because of irresponsible mass immigration,” said Mr. Strache.
“The European Union and leaders of national governments have failed in a dramatic fashion and are leading Europe toward the abyss,” he added.
Hard left protesters gathered outside of the event, faces covered, launching fireworks at the venue.
“We are here to say that we want a Europe as normal, that another Europe is possible”, said the secretary of the Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini.
HE said that we must “recover sovereignty ” but not “make walls or barbed wire: I want my children to live in an open, welcoming and generous but with limits, rules and respect.”
He added that “if a leftist government like that of Sweden has decided to repatriate all the immigrants, it means that Schengen is dead.”
Also on stage were leaders from the New Right of Poland, Romania, and Belgium’s Flemish Interest.