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AfD leadership. Photo supplied

Le Pen’s RN abandons Frexit as AfD gets ready to embrace Dexit

The head of the list for Marine Le Pen's party in the European elections, Jordan Bardella, ruled out the notion of a Frexit, suggesting that perhaps it was no longer so desirable in an "evolving" Europe.

Published: January 15, 2019, 8:54 am

    While the German AfD is mulling the possibility of a Dexit, the French National Rally, will not be pursuing the exit of France from the European Union on its list of priorities.

    This was made clear by Bardella, the young head of the National Rally list for the European elections, who was invited participate on a BFMTV set on Monday, January 14. According to him, Europe can become “something good” and Frexit is “no longer a priority” of the party “for now”.

    Bardella explained to Jean-Jacques Bourdin: “On the euro, we have to be very clear, […] we have not managed to convince people on this issue. I think that the brutal exit that we wanted to propose on the euro, on the European Union, scared a lot of French,” he said.

    “I believe that in politics, it is also a pledge of honesty to recognise that the solutions we proposed were perhaps not in line with what the French were waiting for. […] Today, there are other priorities. I believe that for now, the exit of the euro is no longer a priority”, he added, suggesting the party was being redirected into focusing on issues such as lowering taxes and reducing immigration.

    What could be described as a retreat, according to Bardella, is actually quite compatible with a “changing” Europe where conservative parties are gaining power, as in Italy or Austria.

    “If it is a question of settling the question of immigration with Matteo Salvini tomorrow, I think that one can find a certain number of points of agreement”, he argued from the perspective of a Europe of nations. He added: “Europe, it can also be something good. It can also be hope. It can also be something positive for nations.”

    The supporters of the National Rally will respond to this change in direction next May.

    In contrast, the idea of ​​Germany leaving the European Union is gaining ground in the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, although it has never before been considered since the post-war period.

    According to Euronews, the AfD has adopted a programme for an exit from the EU in view of the European elections at the end of May, following a congress held in Riesa, in the region of Saxony, on Sunday, January 13.

    Euroscepticism is relatively new in Germany since public opinion is predominantly pro-European. This was confirmed by a poll conducted in November by the European Parliament, which found that 51 percent of those polled said they were “fairly confident” in the EU, nine points higher than the EU average and 23 points higher than in 2015.

    It has prevented the German party from wanting to make an exit from the Union, the main axis of its European project.

    But because of Germany’s pro-European DNA, the AfD has only scratched the surface of Dexit perspective. Without a deadline, the movement’s delegates stipulated that an exit from the EU would intervene “as a last resort” if no real reform “within a reasonable time” is implemented.

    “When you flirt with the idea of ​​a ‘Dexit’, you have to ask yourself if it’s a utopia or if we should rather be realistic,” said Alexander Gauland.

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