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EU Projection Shows Far-Right Parties Making Big Gains In European Elections As Greens Suffer Losses

BRUSSELS (AP) — Far-right parties have made big gains at the European Parliament as the Greens took a major hit at Sunday’s European elections, according to a first projection provided by the European Union.

The estimates aggregated by the EU parliament are based on exit polls or other survey data, along with projections that may include some partial election returns.

The two mainstream and pro-European groups, the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, remained the dominant forces. The Greens were expected to lose about 20 seats and fall back to sixth position in the legislature.

The party of Marine Le Pen dominated the polls in France, with her National Rally party standing at just over 30% or about twice as much as President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-European centrist party that is projected to reach around 15%.

In Germany, the most populous nation in the 27-member bloc, projections indicated that the extreme right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, overcame a string of scandals involving its top candidate to rise to 16.5% from 11% in 2019 and become the second biggest party. In comparison, the combined result for the three parties in the German governing coalition barely topped 30%.

“After all the prophecies of doom, after the barrage of the last few weeks, we are the second strongest force,” said AfD leader Alice Weidel.

The European Union, which has its roots in the defeat of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, kept the hard right to the fringes of politics for decades. With its strong showing in these elections, the far right could now become a major player in policies ranging from migration to security and climate.

In sharp contrast, the Greens were predicted to fall from 20% to 12% in Germany, a traditional bulwark for

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