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Europe must ‘wake up’ to far-right ‘ill wind’: Macron

Macron says IS branch behind Russia attack, also targeted France
Source: Video Screenshot

Europe needs to “wake up” to authoritarian trends among far-right parties and governments, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, ahead of key European Union elections.

“Everywhere in our democracies these ideas thrive, pushed by the extremes and in particular the far right,” Macron said in a speech in the eastern city of Dresden, during his state visit to Germany.

“This ill wind is blowing in Europe, so let us wake up,” he said.

Macron’s trip comes two weeks ahead of European Union elections in which polls are indicating a major potential embarrassment for the French leader, with his centrist coalition trailing behind the far right.

“Europe is not just a place where we give ourselves common rules, it is a set of values,” Macron said in his speech.

“We must find the strength and commitment to defend it everywhere,” he said.

Macron also used his address to respond to the threat of Russian aggression and to rethink its defence strategy in light of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Europeans had a “new responsibility” to ensure peace on the continent and could not rely just on security guarantees from the United States, Macron said.

Europe would also have to think about “its own defence and security”, he said.

Without supporting Ukraine and stopping Russia from imposing the “law of the strongest” on the battlefield, there would also be no peace in Europe, Macron said.

“In Ukraine, it is your security, our peace that is at stake,” Macron told the crowd.

The EU needed to have a “European preference” in defence and needed to guard against unfair economic competition from outside the bloc, Macron said.

Standing up to international competition would demand an increase in the EU’s budget, Macron said, calling on the bloc to double its spending.

“Our Europe must rebuild, or rather build, a new paradigm of growth for generations to come,” he said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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