News & Opinion | June 27, 2018 11:38 am

Far Right Parties Are Taking Charge of Europe’s Security Agencies

In Austria and Italy, hard-right nativists now control the interior and law enforcement ministries.

Right-wing party Golden Dawn held a rally in Athens, remembering the fall of Constantinople and the death of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos in 1453. His legend state that he will re-conquer Constantinople for Christianity. (Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LightRocket via Getty Images

Far-right politicians have now joined coalition governments in Austria and Italy and have taken ministerial positions in charge of security and law enforcement, reports The Daily Beast. Concerns have grown among intelligence professionals that these politicians will ignore or even encourage the threat from violent, ultra-right extremists. In both Vienna and Rome, the extreme right is in charge of the interior ministries. In Austria, there have recently been police raids on the homes and offices of top intelligence staffers. Some intelligence sharing between Germany and Austria appears to have been curtailed, and French President Emmanuel Macron compared the rise of such populists to “leprosy all across Europe.” Some of these groups have shown open friendliness toward Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Mike Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and now the senior director of the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, says that the rise of far-right parties across Europe and their control of intelligence agencies is a real cause for concern, according to The Daily Beast.