Europe's right-wing groups on the rise

BERLIN • A wave of right-wing populism has swept across Europe in recent months as the continent struggles with its biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II. Here are some of the key players in Europe's populist movements:


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's conservative Fidesz party has seen soaring poll ratings at the expense of the far-right Jobbik as he took an unapologetically hard-line stance on the migrant crisis.


The conservative Law and Justice party came to power last October and is deeply opposed to taking in refugees under an EU quota system.


The far-right Freedom Party, already the third-largest party in Parliament, has topped opinion polls lately, with scores as high as 34 per cent. The party rails against "asylum cheats".


The populist Danish People's Party formed in 1995 achieved a historic high score of 21.1 per cent in last June's elections. Denmark's right-wing minority government needs DPP backing to pass legislation.


The far-right National Front topped the vote in regional polls on Dec 6. Its leader, Ms Marine Le Pen, has said the migration recalls the "barbarian invasions" of the fourth century.


The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn captured seats in Parliament in 2012 with 6.92 per cent of the vote. It has orchestrated demonstrations against the opening of refugee shelters, but its popularity has not grown.


The far-right Freedom Party has steadily grown since its establishment a decade ago, stoked by leader Geert Wilders' fiery anti-Islam and anti-European Union rhetoric.


The Sweden Democrats were on the fringes until 2014, when they burst into Parliament with 12.9 per cent of the vote. Opinion polls show them gaining popularity since last summer.


Anti-foreigner party The Dawn captured eight seats in Parliament in 2013. Czech President Milos Zeman sparked an uproar last year when he appeared on the same stage with Dawn officials.


The Conservative People's Party of Estonia founded in 2012 entered Parliament last year with seven seats. It holds torchlit night parades through Tallinn and one of its MPs has openly praised fascism.


The populist Alternative for Germany was founded in 2013 on an anti-euro platform, but has since morphed into an anti-migrant party that sparked a storm in January after suggesting police may have to shoot at migrants at the borders.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'Europe's right-wing groups on the rise'. Subscribe