Fact File: The Far Right in Europe

 

Norwegian Anders Breivik may have acted alone, but his trial for the murder of 77 people shone a spotlight on far right politics across Europe.

In the last ten years a backlash against immigration, the financial crisis and widespread disillusion with mainstream political parties has created fertile soil for the growth of a new kind of far right populism.

Gone is the racist rhetoric and anti-semitism of 20th century fascists. In its place is a criticism of multiculturalism that crosses over into centre right politics, and an anti-Islamism with the power to unite far right groups across European borders. In March 2012, the UK’s English Defence League (EDL) joined other groups in Aarhus, Denmark to protest the “Islamification of Europe” . Despite poor attendance, the event, along with reports of Anders Breivik’s online relationship with the EDL highlighted how social media is enabling a pan-European far right consensus to emerge.

While on the streets Neo-Nazi gangs commit heinous crimes in Germany, Russia and elsewhere,  non-violent far right parties are serious electoral contenders in France, Sweden, Holland and Austria. In Germany the slang term Stiefelnazis (“Boot Nazis”) has been updated. It is now Kravattennazis (“Tie Nazis”).

The Numbers

63% of the online supporters of far right groups are under 30. Source:  Demos

25,000 – The number of right-wing extremists living in Germany Source: Der Spiegel

58% of UK respondents associate Islam with extremism Source: BBC News UK

58.3% of BNP members strongly believe that “violence between different ethnic, racial or religious groups is largely inevitable." Source: Chatham House

Further Reading

Who are Breivik’s Fellow Travellers? Daniel Trilling, New Statesman, 2012

The New Face of Digital Populism, Demos, 2011

Nineteenth Report: Roots of violent radicalisation, Home Affairs Committee, 2012

From Voting To Violence: Exploring Far Right Extremists in Modern Britain, Dr Matthew Goodwin, Professor Jocelyn Evans, Chatham House, 2012

 

Timeline

June 2009 – BNP leader Nick Griffin is elected as a member of the European Parliament for North West England

March 2009 – The English Defence League emerges in Luton in response to protests against troops returning from Afghanistan

July 2011 – Anders Breivik murders 77 people in the name of far right ideology

April 2012 – Under the leadership of Marine le Pen France’s Front National win between 18 and 20 per cent of the first round presidential vote

May 2012 – Golden Dawn, a Greek neo-Nazi party win 7 per cent of the vote, earning them 21 seats in Greek Parliament.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border