French National Front win a 'severe' signal: German minister

Germany's foreign minister Monday labelled the European Parliament vote victory for France's far-right National Front (FN) as a "severe signal" and voiced concern about the rise of eurosceptic parties.

"There is no doubt that many populist, eurosceptic and even nationalistic parties are entering the European Parliament," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, speaking on NTV television.

"In some countries it won't be as bad as had been feared, for example in the Netherlands, but France's National Front is a severe signal, and it horrifies me that the NPD from Germany will be represented in the parliament," he said, referring to the extremist anti-immigrant National Democratic Party of Germany.

"I hope that the democratic forces will find ways to work together and that the many leftist and rightist nationalistic parties won't be strong enough to define European policy."

In France the FN won just over 25 percent, while in Britain the anti-EU UK Independence Party looked set to score a historic victory. The anti-EU Danish People's Party was also victorious, while far-right groups had strong showings in Hungary and Greece, though not the Netherlands.

While in Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party and the centre-left Social Democrats were the clear winners, newcomer the anti-euro Alternative for Germany took 7 percent.

The NPD scored about one percent, enough to send a legislator to the European Parliament for the first time.

Germany's upper house of parliament is working on a case before the constitutional court to ban the NPD, which Merkel's spokesman has labelled an "anti-democratic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-constitutional party".