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Danish anti-immigrant party snubs eurosceptic alliance

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP) on Thursday rejected a proposed Europe-wide alliance of far-right parties, citing the perceived anti-semitism of France's National Front (FN).

"The Danish People's Party does not like the National Front," party spokesman Soeren Soendergaard told AFP.

"The National Front has an anti-semitic background," he added.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Dutch anti-Islamic leader Geert Wilders on Wednesday launched an alliance to fight next year's European elections, in a bid to unite eurosceptic right-wing parties across the continent.

But the pro-Israel Wilders faced questions over aligning with Le Pen, whose father Jean-Marie Le Pen is often accused of being a virulent anti-Semite.

"We realise there are great differences between Jean-Marie Le Pen and Marine Le Pen as people, but that doesn't change our position," Soendergaard said.

Daily Danish newspaper Berlingske quoted the DPP's deputy leader as saying the party would sever ties with Sweden's anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats if they joined an alliance that included the National Front.

But Soendergaard denied the report, saying there was no formal cooperation between the two parties, and that "cross border cooperation" went against the party's policy.

For 10 years, the DPP pressured Denmark's centre-right coalition to adopt some of Europe's most draconian immigration and integration regulations, in exchange for its support on other issues in parliament.

Its role as kingmaker ended with the 2011 election when a centre-left coalition took power, but support for the party has soared this year to around 15.5 percent of voter sympathies according to the latest poll.

The DPP is already a member of a eurosceptic parliamentary group, called the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), which is led by the UK Independence Party's leader Nigel Farage.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131114/danish-anti-immigrant-party-snubs-eurosceptic-alliance