|nationalist did good at elections|
BRUSSELS (AP) — France’s pro-EU president and the leader of Italy’s euroskeptic, far-right movement jockeyed for the role of chief powerbroker on the continent Monday after elections to the European Parliament hollowed out the traditional political middle.
The four days of balloting that drew to a close Sunday across the European Union’s 28 countries ended the domination of the main center-right and center-left parties in Parliament and established the anti-EU forces on the right and the environmentalists on the left as forces to be reckoned with.
Voters delivered the highest turnout in 20 years, rejecting mainstream politics in France, Germany, Britain and Italy.
The results could make the business of governing Europe even trickier, leaving the Parliament deadlocked over key issues to come, including immigration, a major trade agreement with the United States, global warming, regulation of the tech industry and, of course, Brexit.
The outcome of the election is already setting off a power struggle.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron’s party narrowly lost to the French far-right, led by Marine Le Pen. Macron, whose party was poised to secure 21 seats to 22 for Le Pen’s National Rally, spent Monday busily amassing allies ahead of a summit Tuesday in Brussels, hoping to build a durable pro-EU coalition.
In Italy, Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party won a third of the country’s vote and is poised to become one of the biggest parties in the European Parliament with 28 seats in the 751-seat legislature. But his ambitions reached higher.
By midday, he had already spoken to Le Pen, Hungary’s hardline anti-immigrant prime minister, Viktor Orban, and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and was promising to singlehandedly bring together a contradiction in terms — an international group of nationalists.