Greek PM Warns of "Far-right Threat" in Europe


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday said "Europe had to decide between democracy and extreme right populist forces" spearheaded by France's Front National party in dealing with the economic crisis.

"European leadership has to decide either to respect democracy, or take the risk of the increasing of the extreme right populist forces in Europe," Tsipras said in halting English ahead of a meeting with French communist party secretary Pierre Laurent.

Tsipras, whose radical left government is engaged in tough negotiations with its European creditors over a new reform plan, has repeatedly suggested that conservative forces are trying to undermine Athens.

He recently claimed that "an axis of powers led by Spain and Portugal" had tried to scupper the negotiations last month to "avoid internal political risks".

The Greek government has warned that persisting with fiscal austerity in the EU will only increase Euroscepticism and the lure of far-right parties.

In Greece itself, the government says that five years of austerity cuts have caused a humanitarian crisis and bolstered support for neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which came third in January's election despite an ongoing criminal investigation against its leadership.

"Because of these difficulties of the European Union you have the radical increasing of (far-right leader Marine) Le Pen and extreme right wing forces," Tsipras said.

"So if we want to be pro-European we have to respect democracy in the European Union, this is the message," he said.

The Front National leads opinion polls ahead of local elections in France on March 22 and 29.

Marine Le Pen is widely expected to run for the French presidency in 2017.

(News Max)

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