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Far right seeks to exploit EU economic woes to win big in June elections

Soaring food costs, economic stagnation and deteriorating living standards risk pushing voters into the far right's arms in European elections later this year, which could shake up the political agenda in Brussels.

EU citizens are reeling from multiple crises.

Just as the European Union's economy was recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022, forcing Europe to search for new energy sources.

That scramble led to higher gas and electricity prices, hurting households and businesses.

Amid the cost-of-living crisis, Europe's far right has prospered, with the 2022 victory of Italy's Giorgia Meloni, then Geert Wilders in the Netherlands last year.

"There is a correlation between the rise in populist forces and the economic and financial crises," said Thierry Chopin, political scientist at think tank Jacques Delors Institute.

"The radical right today significantly exploits the feeling of impoverishment" and the "very strong pessimism" among voters, Chopin said.

Inflation is falling, however, which gives European politicians hope that the EU economy will improve after more than a year of zero growth.

(AFP)


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