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>> Yesterday a free America, today Koblenz and tomorrow a new Europe. Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders hailed the election of Donald Trump Saturday saying it marked the start of a path towards a new Europe. Wilders was speaking at a meeting of European far-right political leaders in the German city of Koblenz.
Amid heavy security, the Dutch politician, alongside other leaders including French National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, met to discuss the future of Europe and the EU. Reuters Correspondent, Paul Carrel, says the timing of the meeting is no coincidence.>> Well, the leaders of the far-right European parties' meetings that are here in Koblenz, seize on the timing of their meeting.
They're gathering one day after Donald Trump's inauguration as a US President to try and build on the momentum that took him to power. This momentum of populism that's seen Trump get elected to the United States and seen Britain vote for Brexit.>> The meeting comes ahead of key elections in Germany, the Netherlands, and France this year in which the far-right parties hope nationalist and anti-immigrant policies will resonate with the voting public.
Marine Le Pen look set to go head to head with a conservative candidate for the presidency in France come May. In her speech in Koblenz Le Pen denounced German Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy as a daily disaster.>> We've seen a mass immigration of refugees, a million refugees pouring into Germany over the period of a year and militant attacks of course, in France, Belgium and Germany.
>> Hundreds of protestors gathered in Koblenz to demonstrate against the meeting but the rise of the new far right in Europe continues to gain more traction despite its opponents.