French National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen gives a speech to open a meeting on January 21, 2017 in Koblenz, western Germany.  Picture: Roberto Pfeil/AFP
French National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen gives a speech to open a meeting on January 21, 2017 in Koblenz, western Germany. Picture: Roberto Pfeil/AFP

Leaders of Europe’s established far-right parties, while speaking at a conference in the German City of Koblenz, were upbeat about their parties’ prospects in the forthcoming elections to take place across Europe.

The conference, organized by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), a cross-party group in the European Parliament, was a platform employed by now popular European far-right parties to further their agenda.

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Pointing to the victory of Donald Trump and the Brexit as pointers of a shift in the political landscape and wishes of the people, the politicians promised a sweeping change in Europe in 2017.

“We are seeing the end of one world and the birth of a new,” the leader of France’s Front National, Marine le Pen, told supporters of right-wing and anti-immigrant parties.

“2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up. 2017, I am sure, the people of continental Europe will wake up,” she said.

The French presidential hopeful described 2017 as “the year of awakening for the people of Central Europe.”

Also at the event were  Frauke Petry of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), Geert Wilders of the Dutch anti-Islam Freedom Party who claimed governments were “promoting our Islamization”, Harald Vilimsky, secretary general of the Freedom Party of Austria and Matteo Salvini of Italy’s anti-EU Northern League.

The far-right has seized on the anti-immigration theme and used it as a stepping stone to rise in the ratings and in the populace’s mind.

Le Pen, in her speech, took digs at Germany’s Angela Merkel’s decision to let in the stranded immigrants saying no one asked the Germans what they thought of it.

Salvini, on his part, attributed the migration policies as an enabling factor in the furthering of terrorism.