Monday

22nd Oct 2018

MEPs welcome fall of far-right group

  • The group break up means losing money access and the right to speaking time in the parliament (Photo: Europeam Parliament)

MEPs from mainstream political groups in the European Parliament have welcomed the breaking up of the House's far-right faction, which fell apart over a dispute linked to recent immigration tensions in Italy.

The break-up of the Identity, Tradition Sovereignty group was formally announced – to some applause - in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 November) after five Romanian MEPs abandoned the faction.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The exodus of the 'Greater Romania' politicians meant that there were no longer enough members for the ITS to qualify as group under the assembly's rules, which require 20 MEPs from six member states.

Almost immediately the reactions of other MEPs started pouring in.

"We are happy that this group, which does not belong in European democracy, has been dissolved," said German MEP Martin Schulz, head of the socialists.

"The good news is that the [group] of the ultra-nationalists no longer exists and cannot use the money of the European taxpayer to support its xenophobia and neo-fascism," he said in a statement.

"This collection of unsavoury European politicians were united only by hatred - be it of other races, nationalities, sexualities or, ironically, the EU - and it was only a matter of time before they succumbed to a hatred of each other as well," said Green MEP Jean Lambert.

The fissures in the group - which was also home to Flemish, French and Austrian far-right MEPs - started to show last week after comments made by Italian Alessandra Mussolini, grand-daughter of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Reacting to the recent murder of an Italian woman, where the suspect is thought to be a Romanian of Roma origin, Ms Mussolini told a Romanian newspaper that: "Breaking the law has become a way of life for Romanians. However, it is not about petty crimes, but horrifying crimes, that give one goose bumps."

The Romanian members of the group reacted with fury to the statement, seemingly also because Ms Mussolini did not distinguish between Romanians and the Roma, the minority community towards which the Greater Romania party has been accused of racism in the past.

"The straw that broke the camel's back," said Romanian MEP Eugen Mihaescu, according to AFP, was the "unacceptable amalgam" Ms Mussolini made "between criminal gypsies and the entire Romanian population."

Reacting to the group's implosion, liberal leader Graham Watson said: "They are a casualty of their own philosophy which paints all foreigners into a single mould and encourages xenophobic and racist comments and remarks which have no place in the European Union."

The break-up means members of the former ITS group will no longer have the greater speaking and administrative rights as well as access to tax payers money that comes with being in a political group.

Romanian nationalists defeated in EU assembly vote

The Romanian centrist opposition party has won the country's elections for the European parliament, while the nationalist Greater Romania party will be completely pushed out of the European assembly, exit polls show.

Interview

Bannon's The Movement to launch with January summit

Belgian Mischael Modrikamen is working with US strategist Steve Bannon to make the new hard-right grouping 'The Movement' go global. First step: a summit in January in Brussels, and high-level talks are underway, possibly with Brazil's far-right presidential contender.

Bavarian election puts Merkel on defensive

Voters in Germany's largest state hived off to the left and right of the ruling conservatives in Sunday's elections - posing questions for Merkel's authority.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. Lone Merkel announces Saudi arms ban
  2. Dodgy regime lobbying is below the EU's radar
  3. Bannon's The Movement to launch with January summit
  4. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  5. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  6. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  7. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  8. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us