Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Far right ‘ready to govern’, Jordan Bardella says, as France braces for snap election – Europe live

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‘We are ready to govern’, French far-right National Rally’s Bardella says

In a television interview this morning, the French far-right National Rally’s Jordan Bardella argued his party is ready to govern, while noting that not everything the party wants to do would be possible while Emmanuel Macron is president.

But, he said, it would be possible to do things on issues such as security and migration.

Bardella also said he wants to build a majority that is as large as possible, and work with other political groups.

Macron called snap legislative elections after his allies performed poorly in the European elections on Sunday, while the far-right in France came in first place.

The National Rally took 31.37%, while Macron’s allies were at merely 14.6%.

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‘We are stronger than the chancellor’: Far-right German politician downplays controversies

Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany, has downplayed the controversies surrounding the party’s lead candidate in the European election and insisted that the AfD is now more powerful than Germany’s chancellor.

Maximilian Krah resigned from the AfD leadership in May after his comment that the SS, the Nazis’ main paramilitary force, were “not all criminals” fuelled outrage.

The AfD was expelled from the far-right Identity and Democracy group, which includes members such as France’s National Rally. But Krah was still on the ballot in the European election and was re-elected as MEP.

Asked about Krah, von Storch told the BBC:

Well he was just excluded from the group, so he will not join the AfD group in the parliament, and so that’s over, and we could come and talk about what led AfD to be the second-biggest party in Germany, the strongest in the east, the strongest within the working class people, the strongest with the young people.

People don’t care so much about these things. Yes, we had a problem with that person. We took the decision to exclude him from our group, and so let’s move on forward.

But pressed on whether Krah will remain a member of the AfD party itself, von Storch said “yes, but, you know, that’s something else” and that the party will have to “see through what has come out as evidence from other things.”

In a combative response, von Storch said:

You are trying to focus on one person. You’re talking to the deputy chair of the second-biggest party in Germany. We are stronger than the chancellor.

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The French far-right Reconquête’s Marion Maréchal said “the national camp no longer has the right to be divided.”

Face à la coalition de Macron et à celle de l’extrême gauche, le camp national n’a plus le droit d’être divisé.
À @Reconquete_off, nous avons toujours porté l’idée de l’union. Il n’est plus temps de dire mais de faire. #UnionNationale

— Marion Maréchal (@MarionMarechal) June 11, 2024

A group of left-wing parties in France has come together ahead of the snap elections, and will run joint candidates.

Ursula von der Leyen in pole position as she tries to build majority to keep job

Ursula von der Leyen has begun trying to craft a majority for a second term as European Commission president, after major gains for the far right that are likely to mean a less stable European parliament.

Von der Leyen, a German Christian Democrat, was jubilant after her European People’s party (EPP) secured 186 of the 720 seats in the European elections, maintaining its 25-year hold as the largest group and leaving her a narrow path to a second term.

But she has been presented with a wild card: Emmanuel Macron’s bombshell decision to call snap elections after his Renaissance party came a dismal second to Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in France.

Von der Leyen, the first woman to lead the commission, was the EPP’s lead candidate and remains in pole position. With the added uncertainty of French elections in the mix, she has to clear two hurdles. First she needs the backing of a qualified majority of EU leaders, then an absolute majority – 361 votes – in the new European parliament.

Read the full story here, by Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and Angela Giuffrida in Rome

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s headquarters in Berlin, 10 June. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

‘We are ready to govern’, French far-right National Rally’s Bardella says

In a television interview this morning, the French far-right National Rally’s Jordan Bardella argued his party is ready to govern, while noting that not everything the party wants to do would be possible while Emmanuel Macron is president.

But, he said, it would be possible to do things on issues such as security and migration.

Bardella also said he wants to build a majority that is as large as possible, and work with other political groups.

Macron called snap legislative elections after his allies performed poorly in the European elections on Sunday, while the far-right in France came in first place.

The National Rally took 31.37%, while Macron’s allies were at merely 14.6%.

Welcome to the blog

Good morning and welcome back to the blog, where we will be looking today at reactions to the European elections and what comes next.

Send tips and comments to lili.bayer@theguardian.com.

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