Third president of Austria’s lower house of parliament; former presidential candidate, Freedom Party of Austria
Norbert Hofer supports the idea that Austria must act independently of the European Union. Some refer to the third president of the National Council as Austria’s Donald Trump; some accuse him of holding neo-Nazi views. Tweeting in the early hours of the results, Hofer said, “#Brexit What an exciting night. The EU must break new ground if you want to survive.” He lost a cliffhanger presidential election in May by 0.3 percent of the vote.
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Tom Van Grieken
Party councillor, party board, national chairman, Vlaams Belang
Tom Van Grieken is the 29-year-old leader of Belgium’s far-right Flemish nationalist party, Vlaams Belang, which advocates splitting Belgium into Dutch and French-speaking nations. Campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform, Van Grieken and his party say they want a Flexit – or Flemish exit – if the EU fails to listen to their anti-immigration message.
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Kristian Thulesen Dahl
Leader, Danish People’s Party
Congratulating the British in a Facebook post, Kristian Thulesen Dahl said, “The EU has taken too much power from the states and is now paying the price.” The DPP opposes the European Union, saying, “We will not allow Denmark to surrender its sovereignty.” The DPP supports alliances with NATO and the U.N. Many see Denmark as the next potential departure from the EU.
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Marine Le Pen
President of the National Front; member of the European Parliament, the National Front
Marine Le Pen celebrated Brexit, urging France to vote for a referendum on the country’s membership with the European Union. She is surging in the polls ahead of France’s 2017 presidential election. Opinion polls show France’s dissatisfaction with the European Union is greater than Britain’s.
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Chairwoman, Alternative for Germany party
“The time is ripe for a New Europe,” Frauke Petry tweeted Friday. In a response to Brexit, Petry warns the European Union that more nations will follow the British and “reclaim their sovereignty” if changes are not made. Her party is poised to win big in German parliamentary elections next year.
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Prime minister of Hungary, national conservative Fidesz party
The far-right, anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban shut Hungary to refugees last year, exacerbating the crisis. In Britain, “the decisive issue was the question of immigration,” Orban said in a radio interview on Friday. “Europe can only be strong if answers are given to the questions of great significance, like immigration, that strengthen it, not weaken it.”
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Founder, Italian Five Star Movement
Beppe Grillo, a comedian-turned-politician in Italy who founded the Five Star Movement political party in 2009, has electrified voters fed up with their country’s old-style politicians. A 37-year-old Five Star politician was elected the first female mayor of Rome this month, and another Five Star candidate won the same office in Turin.
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Founder, Dutch Party for Freedom
Geert Wilders took to social media with excitement over the British leaving the EU with a tweet saying, “Hurrah for the British! Now it is our turn. Time for a Dutch referendum!” Referring to Brexit as “Britain’s Independence Day,” Wilders says Britain is paving the way for the liberation of European countries.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Stephanie Stamm, Michael Birnbaum, Anthony Faiola