Destinations Magazine

At a Summit in Germany, Nationalism Goes International

By Stizzard
At a summit in Germany, nationalism goes international

TWO ghosts haunted a "counter-summit" of Europe's nationalist leaders in the German city of Koblenz on January 21st: Angela Merkel and Donald Trump. To the 1,000-odd visitors, most of them supporters of the anti-establishment Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Mrs Merkel epitomised all that is rotten in Europe: out of touch, elitist and besotted with immigrants. (Chants of "Merkel must go!" punctuated the day's speeches.) The energy of Mr Trump's inauguration the previous day, by contrast, crackled through the proceedings. "Last year the wind began to turn," said Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party. "It brought us the victory of Trump!" The crowd whooped.

Koblenz brought together the leaders of populist, nationalist parties from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and elsewhere under the banner of the "Europe of Nations and Freedom", their grouping in the European Parliament. Feuds and personality clashes have long marred their attempts to co-operate. But now they are surfing a wave of success; several are leading in the polls, and they see themselves at the vanguard of a...

The Economist: Europe
At a summit in Germany, nationalism goes international

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