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FPÖ fails to form EU group

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Members of the far-right parties, including Harald Vilismky (second from left). Photo: APA/JULIEN WARNAND
11:42 CEST+02:00
A group of far-right parties, including Austria's FPÖ, has failed to form an anti-European Union parliamentary group.

This will cost the parties extra funding, staffing, and speaking time - until they manage to form multinational party alliances with members from at least seven of the EU's 28 member countries.

"Delayed is not canceled," tweeted the FPÖ’s top EU candidate Harald Vilismky. "There will be a group of EU-critical freedom parties, even if it takes a little longer than planned."

A rival group of eurosceptic parties that included Nigel Farage's United Kingdom Independence Party and Italy's Five Star Movement of Beppe Grillo, succeeded in forging an alliance last week when they were joined by a defector from France's National Front.

In a statement, Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said cooperation with a Polish right-wing party that has been accused of anti-Semitism and misogyny was "a bridge too far" for him, but said he hoped to form a parliamentary group later in the year.

"The Freedom Party wants to form a parliamentary group but not at any price," he said. He pledged to continue cooperating with the FPÖ and other like-minded parties from Belgium and Italy as well as with Marine Le Pen's National Front.

The parties had until today (Tuesday) to form a group, so they will now be known as "non-attached" members in the parliament.

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