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19th Aug 2019

EUobserved

Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection

  • The Greens are projected to get 71 seats, up from 52 in 2014 (Photo: EUobserver)

The Greens are already celebrating. In a packed conference room above the European Parliament's hemicycle, Green supporters and staff were Sunday night (May 26) preparing for major gains in Germany and elsewhere.

According to the first official European Parliament projection, they are set to become the fourth-largest biggest group in the plenary with 70 seats, up from 52.

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"When Finland says we go from one to two, that is a doubling, when Germany says we go from 11 to 22, it is a doubling as well," Philippe Lamberts, a leading Belgian Green MEP in the previous EU parliament, told Euobserver.

So far, the Greens are also likely to get MEPs from Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

As of writing, results have yet to come in from Belgium, where the right-wing nationalist party Vlaams Belang scored big in the federal elections.

The Flemish party is set to become the second largest in the region, behind the right-wing separatist party known as the N-VA.

"You see one of the richest areas of Europe voting for people who are basically saying we are going to do everything it takes to preserve our wealth and let the others die, that is the really the attitude they have," reacted Lamberts to news of the Vlaams Belang and N-VA projection in his own country of Belgium.

The Belgian federal election gains points to wider projections that European nationalists and populists are set for big wins as well.

EPP and S&D gloomier

Meanwhile, the jubilant mood among the Greens was lacking among the socialists (S&D) and the centre-right European People's Party (EPP).

Both groups are set to shed seats the European level, stripping them of a two-party rule they enjoyed for decades.

Inside the socialist S&D base camp inside the EP building in Brussels, small groups of people were eating finger food in relative silence.

At the EPP, the doors are closed off to journalists. But a window portal showed small groups huddled around computers.

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