In a whole series of elections in Europe, far-right parties have made significant gains. The recent votes for Le Pen in France and the Pim Fortuyn List in the Netherlands have rocked the establishment parties and provoked mass anger and opposition. LYNN WALSH looks into the nature of this development.

THE RECENT Dutch elections were nothing short of an earthquake, expressing frustration and disappointment with the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA). The winners were the Christian Democratic Party, which was in government from 1918-94 (longer than the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as the joke goes) and the List Pim...

Press release by the CWI in Russia on the arrests of anti-EU protesters in Moscow (see article, Anti-EU protesters beaten and arrested by Moscow police, posted on 29 May 2002). A number of the protesters were released late on 28 May and appeared in court on the morning of 29 May. The court hearings have been delayed. We...

Police arrested 25 people protesting against the EU summit in Moscow today, Tuesday 28 May at 15 45 hrs (Moscow time). Reports so far indicate that five on them were badly beaten. The police are refusing to comment on what is happening to those arrested. Those detained include CWI members.

The Socialist Party in Ireland, the Irish section of the CWI, scored spectacular successes in the recent Irish elections. Joe Higgins was re-elected as a TD (MP) in Dublin West, coming second out of the three elected candidates. He got 6,442 first preference votes, 21.5%, which rose to7,853 on the fourth count, when he...

“SO MUCH has been transferred to the national level, and so much of the financial control is retained there, that being asked to vote in a local election is like being asked to select which crumbs you would prefer from the rich man’s table,” commented the Guardian’s Hugo Young on election day.

“THIS IS a disaster” - that was Burnley Labour leader Stuart Caddy’s response to the BNP winning three council seats in Burnley. That feeling is echoed throughout the country.

The extreme right Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn, was shot dead 6 May, on the premises of the national radio station in Hilversum. This single act has shaken Dutch society, including the complacent Dutch establishment who had always liked to assume that "nothing like that will happen here".

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