Marine Le Pen backs European election alliance with Wilders

French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen is interested in forging a joint campaign for next year’s European elections with Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV.

Le Pen said in an interview with the NRC on Saturday that she could see merit in such a campaign. ‘It is important that voters see we are not alone, and that there are similar patriotic movements in every EU country,’ she said.

Le Pen said she and Wilders differ in their approach to Islam. ‘I am against the visibility of Islam in society. We have a tradition of a strict division between church and state so I think religious symbolism has no place in the street. But I have nothing against Islam per se.’ Wilders regards Islam as a backward religion and has likened the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Lunch

Wilders had lunch with Le Pen earlier this year to discuss his plans for a common approach to next year’s EU vote.

He told Nos in July he had contact with the Eurosceptic Sweden Democrats and will also meet officials from the Lega Nord in Italy.

These are parties which share a lot of similar attitudes to Europe as the PVV and now is a good time to work together, the PVV leader said. Elections for the European parliament take place next spring.

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