‘Putin won’t win!’ EU leader says far-right parties will FAIL despite ‘Kremlin’s backing'

POPULIST leaders Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are set to lose upcoming elections in France and the Netherlands because nationalism is already “in decline”, the leader of Austria said today.      
Christian Kern said far-right parties will not win power in Europe no matter how “high ranked and wealthy” their sponsors are in a swipe at alleged meddling by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Speaking as he arrived for a summit of the 27 EU leaders this morning, at which Brexit will be the dominating issue, the Austrian leader predicted Brexit will be the last major shockwave to hit the bloc. 
Austrian Chancellor Christian KernEbS
Christian Kern predicted populists will not win in this year's European elections

Vienna itself was recently rocked by the rapid rise of populist politics on the continent, with a far-right candidate coming within a whisker of being elected as the country’s president.
Norbert Hofer was eventually defeated comfortably by the Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, but only after a re-run of the original election in which the candidates were split by just 30,000 votes. 
Geert WildersGETTY
Geert Wilders is set to battle for the Dutch leadership next week
Vladimir PutinGETTY
Vladimir Putin has allegedly been supporting far-right parties in Europe
Both Ms Le Pen and Mr Wilders have suffered a dip in polling ratings in the run-up to their respective elections, with some surveys showing them falling behind in the race for the first time in months.
An election victory for either of the two populist leaders would be a hammer blow to Brussels following the Brexit result and the rise of Donald Trump, with senior figures warning it could send the bloc into a death spiral.
Mr Wilders wants to pull the Netherlands out of the European project altogether and has said he would actively revel in its demise, whilst Ms Le Pen has toned down her position and now only advocates ditching the euro.
The Austrian chancellor was asked about press reports that the pair are being supported by the Kremlin, which allegedly wants to sow seeds of discontent throughout Europe via the spreading of ‘fake news’ stories

Asked if the phenomenon worried him, he said: “Yes of course it does, but we’ve seen in Austria and in various other countries that there’s a decline in right-wing populism.
“So even if they have very, very high ranked and wealthy sponsors they will not make the race.
“I’m absolutely convinced that this will be the case, they are declining. Look at the Netherlands, they have their elections on Wednesday, look at France.
“So I’m absolutely, totally optimistic that the pro-European forces will in the end succeed.”
However, despite his tough stance on the issue Mr Kern said he will press other EU leaders to consider lifting sanctions against Moscow which were imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.

Vienna’s chief said the regime of embargoes on trade with Russia was “very detrimental” for European economic growth also and should now be relaxed despite no obvious solution to the war being in sight.
However, he dodged suggestions that this put him on the same page as Mr Trump, insisting that Europe “has to be self confident” and that it made it’s own decisions without “having to look always at” the US president.
He said: “From my point of view what you’ve seen is that the sanctions were very detrimental for economic growth here in Europe, so we are interested in having a relaxed and more balanced relation with Russia, which is important.
“But we have to discuss that in the community of the 27. There are various opinions about that, some countries very much in favour of lifting, other countries very rigid.”

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/777448/European-Union-Austrian-leader-Le-Pen-Wilders-lose-Putin-backing


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