They say they will be shaping the new Europe. Now they are gathered in Koblenz, Germany, to figure out how.
They are all here: The heads of Alternative for Germany, Italian Lega Nord, the French National Front and the Dutch Freedom Party. In the room there are representatives from a number of other immigration skeptical parties in Europe.
It is clear that the great role model for the right-wing parties in Europe, is US President Donald Trump.
- We received the greatest triumph yesterday, when Trump became president, says participant Gerhard Kulzer, to NRK.
- I am here today because I believe Europe is not going in the right direction. I hope we can turn it into a direction like Trump's, adds Kulzer.
- Donald Trump is a man who will not accept that the suppression of national states in Europe continues, said Le Pen, as she discussed the importance of Brexit for the assembly.
Dutch Geert Wilders made several references to Trump during his speech. He used an expression from yesterday's inauguration speech, saying that 2017 will be the year when power is returned to the people.
Previously he has taken the words right out of Trump's mouth, which he also did in Koblenz.
- We will make Europe great again, said Wilders.
Lügenpresse not wanted
Plans for the large gathering of right-wing parties have been prepared for a long time, and just like with Trump, some mainstream media outlets are in trouble. What Trump calls fake news in America, are in Germany called "Lügenpresse" (lying press), and media outlets that were trying to cover the event met unusual resistance.
- I was refused accreditation without any reasons. We have tried to get accreditation several times, says ARD journalist Axel John to NRK.
A number of German journalists have been denied accreditation. It is the German party Alternative for Germany who has organized the conference, and Axel John believes the party does not like some of the journalists who are reporting.
- We're not wanted here and it makes our job difficult of course, but I will of course try to report on it, says Axel John.
Like Trump, all these parties are concerned about the security of their own countries, as crazy as that sounds, and they have even proposed to deport illegal immigrants and criminals. Weird.
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