“These European elections could culminate in the normalization of the far right.”

“These European elections could culminate in the normalization of the far right.”

The far right, coming from all over the continent, will be one of the parties in the European elections scheduled for June 9. The two big families, the Identity and Democracy – which includes Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini – and the Conservatives and Reformists – which includes Giorgia Meloni and Vox – can get a very good result, according to opinion polls, and even add the large group. Of popular people. The first days of the election campaign have already captured the spotlight: Le Pen and Salvini broke away from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party because their candidate said that not all those who were part of Hitler’s SS were criminals. We talk about it with the journalist White starsPont-Avoie’s correspondent in Rome, who has been following the extremist wave for many years, and who warns not only of the dangers of giving them wings, but also of belittling and exploiting their rhetoric.

Another election campaign conditioned by the far-right framework.
– I have warned for many years about the rise of the far right and I know for sure how dangerous it is, and that is why it bothers me that fear of the far right is used as an electoral weapon, because the voter realizes this and feels that his hair is being pulled. Reducing anti-fascism to empty election slogans makes a mockery of what should be an urgent democratic imperative. This downplays the real danger posed by the far right, and makes it so when those in power who carry the banner of anti-fascism institute policies similar to the far right, such as Pedro Sánchez in Melilla, or go hand in hand. Hand in hand when appropriate, as they did here to attack independence.

Why do you think the far right is still so strong and well placed to start these European elections?
– We have been talking about the rise of the far right for many years. These European elections may be the culmination of the normalization process. We are witnessing a reactionary wave around the world, driven by many factors. We see these moves by the European People’s Party: Ursula von der Leyen and Alberto Nunez Viejo have already said that Giorgia Meloni does not seem to fit in with the rest of the European far right. They appear to be paving the way by saying they are open to an agreement. This may be the end of the cordon sanitaire, which is sometimes ridiculed, but it means making agreements to not allow them to come to power. Now it seems that Europe is trying the Italian way.

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What is the Italian way?
Silvio Berlusconi came to power by striking an agreement with the Northern League and the fascists in the Alianza Nazionale party, which later became Fratelli d’Italia. Berlusconi was the big fish and they were his crutch. This normalized the discourse of the far right, and it became more acceptable to the point where the big fish broke, which is why Matteo Salvini, first, and Meloni, then, came to power.

Let’s go to Bams. What are the differences between the two main far-right groups in Europe?
-There are two big families. The conservatives and reformists, including Meloni, Fox, and Eric Zemmour; And “Identity and Democracy,” where there is Le Pen, the mother of all, and Salvini, her student. Meloni’s group is the uncomplicated far right, of those who are not ashamed of it, of all forms of life, traditionalists, ultra-religious and ultra-conservatives. They had a more linear path. The new populist radical right are those who come, ideologically, from… new right French Alain de Benoist. It came from a reaction against May 68. A group of intellectuals realized that the ideas of the left were more attractive to young people, and they invested a lot of money to turn the far right into something attractive. Le Pen is the direct heir to all of this, and on the other hand, her father was from the other group. They are people who realized that before they came to power, the important thing was to gain cultural dominance, to move common sense to the right. They’re not exactly two opposing families, but just two great lines.

And practically, outside the discourse?
One of the biggest differences is between those who support Vladimir Putin’s Russia or owe him something, and those who have no problem supporting Ukraine and NATO. In Italy it was very clear. Meloni immediately realized that Russia was not on his side, and the United States subsequently withdrew its support for Salvini. The Identity and Democracy group is full of parties with many ties and debts to Russia. Others, no.

But apart from that, they are not irreconcilable families.
– exactly. This is the broad outline to describe them, but these people are united by alliances and strategies. They’re not like the left: they don’t have big discussions between subgroups. At the Vox event the other day, there was Le Pen, there was Miley and there was Vox. They are mixed. Those whose hands are tied have problems, but their relationship with each other is good.

Is Le Pen and Salvini’s separation from the Alternative for Germany final?
– This resigned candidate, Maximilian Krah, said much worse things than he said now – that not everyone who wore an SS uniform was a criminal. When the Taliban occupied Kabul, he said that was the correct response to Gay Pride Month, which was celebrated by the US Embassy in Afghanistan. He held meetings with neo-Nazis, studied how to carry out mass deportations of Germans of foreign origin, even if they had citizenship… It was already known that Alternativa had links to Nazism. These statements are now an excuse. If they screw it up now, it’s because it made them uncomfortable and because they had some plan that Alternativa hated them about. They also did not agree with Salvini, because to Alternativa, Spaniards and Italians are what Moroccans are to Italian or Spanish racists: lazy people who want to take their jobs.

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Doesn’t this association with the Nazis particularly worry them?
-Yes. We have more data on the German far right because they took it seriously. The German Interior Ministry has been warning for several years that the main threat to national security is the far right. They actually disrupted attack attempts and spells. There is a very large network. Yes, we must pay attention to the German question. In Europe, fascism is beginning to return to normal again. In Germany, the far right has managed to begin whitewashing Nazism, which remains taboo in the rest of Europe.

Von der Leyen and Feijóo insist that Meloni, as I said, is not like the others, so that you can work with her. Is there really any difference?
– It’s crazy. They do this because they want Italy to stand by them. It is very surprising to hear voices from outside Italy saying that Meloni is a moderate. Moderate in what? I don’t know how to explain it further. We are talking about people who have not abandoned fascism. In Catalonia we are used to using this term fascist Free. In this case, no. They are literally the heirs of the fascist party. The illusion of direct transfer. Their youth are classic fascists. Meloni uses the same rhetoric when addressing his base. It pursues a brutal policy of historical revisionism: they prevent schools from talking about anti-fascism, threaten teachers who talk about it, and say it is political. he is very strong.

Von der Leyen said he did not open the door to the entire group of conservatives and reformists, but rather to those who met a series of requirements: respect the union, support sending weapons to Ukraine, and stand against Putin. He added: “Although I do not agree with Meloni on other matters, such as gay rights.” As if it were trivial. Meloni is extremely reactionary, and has put the equivalent of Hazte Oír, the pro-life group, in charge of the Family Ministry. It is now very difficult to get an abortion in Italy, and most doctors are already opposed, and have now allowed anti-abortion lobbyists into clinics. Same-sex couples cannot adopt, but they are now also putting barriers in place for them to be de facto spouses, something that has only been allowed since 2016 because the United Nations forced them to do so. There is incredible censorship of RAI, and the government files complaints against many journalists. For von der Leyen, all these things seem like details, and the important thing is that Meloni supports sending weapons to Ukraine. Ideologically, Meloni has not changed, nor has he moderated anything. His more fascist supporters say he is submissive to Brussels elites, but he delivers on everything he promises.

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At the European level, what is Meloni’s plan? Uniting the two far-right groups to form a strong group in the European Parliament? Or let yourself be tempted by the people to extremize their rhetoric?
– It is not known, but there are these two options. Steve Bannon’s dream would be to form this giant European far-right group. As for the other option, which is to integrate with those popular ones, they do not need much, because they already have agreements, and therefore they already have power on the other hand.

What role can Fox play in all of this?
-Helps. If it performs well, it will clearly contribute to the far right gaining more power in the European Parliament. He pulls some tricks, making it seem like they have problems with Salvini, but in the end there are no big contradictions that can’t be overcome.

They are not running for election, but among these families, where does Alianca Catalana fit?
– I don’t think they know either. The Catalan coalition is an amalgam of various far-right sensibilities. The strategy followed by Silvia Orioles is that of the new populist far-right, the strategy of Le Pen and Salvini: a far-right that uses the banner of feminism to oppose Islam and hide Islamophobia. They are using rhetoric that has been a legacy of the left; There is no purity in Meloni. But it’s about communication. When Meloni won the election, the Orioles gave him one tweet From support Alyanka has not yet found a way to unify.

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