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Monday June 24, 2024

Europe must ‘wake up’ to far-right ‘ill wind’: Macron

By AFP
May 28, 2024
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Eurosatory defense and security tradeshow. —AFP/File
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Eurosatory defense and security tradeshow. —AFP/File

DRESDEN, Germany: Europe needs to “wake up” to authoritarian trends among far-right parties and governments, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, ahead of key European Union elections.

“Everywhere in our democracies these ideas thrive, pushed by the extremes and in particular the far right,” Macron said in a speech in the eastern city of Dresden, during his state visit to Germany.

“This ill wind is blowing in Europe, so let us wake up,” he said. Macron´s trip comes two weeks ahead of European Union elections in which polls are indicating a major potential embarrassment for the French leader, with his centrist coalition trailing behind the far right.

“Europe is not just a place where we give ourselves common rules, it is a set of values,” Macron said in his speech. “We must find the strength and commitment to defend it everywhere,” he said.

Macron also used his address to respond to the threat of Russian aggression and to rethink its defence strategy in light of Moscow´s invasion of Ukraine. Europeans had a “new responsibility” to ensure peace on the continent and could not rely just on security guarantees from the United States, Macron said.

Europe would also have to think about “its own defence and security”, he said. Without supporting Ukraine and stopping Russia from imposing the “law of the strongest” on the battlefield, there would also be no peace in Europe, Macron said. “In Ukraine, it is your security, our peace that is at stake,” Macron told the crowd.