Macron says Europe must 'wake up' to counter rise of the far right

Europe needs to "wake up" to authoritarian tendencies among far-right parties and governments, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech during his state visit to Germany on Monday, ahead of key European Union elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a keynote address in Dresden on Monday at day two of his state visit to Germany, talking for several minutes in German.

"I'm speaking here to a part of Europe that has found unity again — German unity. But at the same time [it is an area] which has allowed us not only to enhance Europe, but to allow Europe to be what it was always supposed to be: united," he said.

"And I am not speaking to Eastern Europe, I am speaking to the center of Europe here in Dresden."

He also warned against a growing tendency in Europe to favour extreme right-wing ideas.

"Everywhere in our democracies these ideas thrive, pushed by the extremes and in particular the far right. This ill wind is blowing in Europe, so let us wake up," he said.

Macron’s trip comes two weeks ahead of European Union elections in which polls are indicating his centrist coalition is trailing the far right.

It could even struggle to reach a third-place finish.

In Germany too, all three parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition are polling behind the far-right AfD in surveys, despite a series of scandals embroiling the anti-immigration party.

"Europe is not just a place where we give ourselves common rules, it is a set of values," Macron said.

During the World War II, The 18th century building was all but destroyed, then left as a ruin by East German authorities as a monument in its own right.

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