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Germany’s Far Right is Rebuffed in Elections for E.u. Parliament

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While representatives of right-wing parties made gains among some countries’ voters in this week’s elections for the European Union Parliament, German and Dutch voters turned back bids by parties representing the extreme right.

In Germany, the far-right Republican Party failed to get a single assembly seat.

Ignatz Bubis, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, expressed pleasure at the failure of the Republicans to secure the minimum of 5 percent of the vote that is required for representation in the E.U. Parliament.

But he expressed concern that radical-right parties gained in several other E.U. countries.

“I’m happy that the Republicans didn’t make it,” Bubis said in a statement released from his office in Frankfurt. “But I regret that in other European countries (support for) the right parties increased.”

According to preliminary results, support for the right-wing Republican Party, which is chaired by former Waffen SS member Franz Schonhuber, dropped to 3.9 percent in this week’s voting, from 7.6 percent in the 1989 E.U. Parliamentary elections.

In Holland, a leading right-wing party, the Centrist Democrats, were denied seats in the European body.

The Centrist Democrats’ poor showing was considered something of a surprise, since the party has long been described as presenting a great danger in Holland.

Only 35 percent of the Dutch electorate went to the polls to vote for their E.U. representatives. The low turnout was ascribed to the fact that the European Parliament’s activities get little attention there.

But the far-right’s poor showing in Germany and Holland was clouded by gains in other European countries, including France and Belgium.

Preliminary results from Brussels indicated that right-wing parties managed to increase their representation in the Parliament by 10 seats, for a total of 26.

Voting for the European Parliament was held Sunday in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain, Britain, Denmark, Holland and Ireland held their elections on June 9.

The E.U. Parliament, which has 567 delegates from its 12 member countries, is largely an advisory body that holds monthly sessions in Strasbourg, France.

(Contributing to this report was JTA correspondent Henriette Boas in Amsterdam.)

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