'The green boom': How European papers reacted to the EU election results

Established centre-left and centre-right parties around Europe were the big losers in France, Spain, Italy and Germany

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 27 May 2019 10:41
Conservatives and Labour suffer huge loses in EU elections

Unprecedented gains for Green parties and the rise of the far right were the two main threads dominating headlines across the continent on Monday morning following the European Parliament elections.

Established centre-left and centre-right parties around Europe were the big losers to the insurgent sides, with similar stories of success for far right populists playing out in France, Germany and Italy.

Just as Nigel Farage's Brexit Party led UK results, Marine Le Pen's far right National Rally and Matteo Salvini's anti-immigration Northern League Party secured the highest share of votes in France and Italy.

But is was the gains made by Green parties that proved the biggest shock, coming amid a surge in climate activism across Europe.

An image of a fist-pumping Yannick Jadot, newly elected MEP for Europe Ecology – The Greens, filled the front page of Libération in France. The headline proclaimed: "The growth of the greens."

With 13 per cent of the vote, the left-leaning paper noted that Mr Jadot's party had created a surprise, "like other green parties across Europe".

Le Monde described a "fragmented parliament", but hailed an increased voter turn ut as one of the great successes of the 2019 elections, as it proved "a renewed interest in European matters".

German paper Die Welt also focussed on this uptick in turnout, which it said was spurred by a "fateful choice ... the fear of a renaissance of nationalism and populism".

Suddeutsche Zeitung featured a graphic demonstrating the share of the votes obtained by each party. The headline notes that the Greens are the second biggest party for the first time.

"The Greens are the big winners," the paper stated. "And now they see themselves as responsible."

In Spain, El Pais described "The green boom" across Europe, while also noting the strong showing for far right parties

Meanwhile El Mundo focussed on the success of the Spanish prime minister's socialist party. "Pedro Sanchez strengthens his power," their headline stated.

La Stampa's coverage of the European elections in Italy leads with Le Pen's party beating that of President Emmanuel Macron. Its headline also states: "the greens fly".

Corriere della Sera focussed on the success of the anti-immigration Northern League Party, which it claimed was only outshone by the Brexit Party in the UK.

"Of course, the boom result of Nigel Farage in the UK deprives [Salvini] of the most-voted crown in Europe," the paper stated.

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