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French Fringe Groups Together At Last

Though support for European fringe groups generally runs in the single percentage points, voter turnout in next week's elections might not run much higher, which bodes well for those outside the mainstream.

Transitions Online reports a full 150 seats in the 736-seat Parliament could go to fringe groups either on the extreme left or right. The parties run the gamut from German Neo-Nazis to radical Greens to the British National Party. But the parties all espouse divisive policies on immigration, job protection, European unity and national sovereignty that run counter to the Parliament's mandate to build to consensus and transnational unity. A number of MEP's are representing fringe groups in this year's elections. One of the unlikeliest is comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala who has aligned himself with France's Front National.

Dieudonné--whose name translates to "God-Given"--is a Frenchman of Cameroonian extraction whose anit-racist platform has morphed into anti-Semitic hate speech big on the theatrics which has found a listener in National Front head Jean-Marie LePen. LePen's party is hardly known for its embrace of African Muslims but Dieudonné's stance against Zionism has united the two firebrand leaders. Sarkozy is attempting to bar both Dieudonné and LePen from politics. See a Euronews report on Dieudonné here.

 

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