Some Le Pen views too leftist, says EKRE leader

EKRE leader Mart Helme at Riigikogu coalition oath-taking ceremony in late April.
EKRE leader Mart Helme at Riigikogu coalition oath-taking ceremony in late April. Source: Aurelia Minev/ERR

Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) leader Mart Helme has appeared to distance himself and his party somewhat from Marine Le Pen, leader of the French right-wing, populist National Rally party, who is set to visit Estonia.

"Essentially, Le Pen invited herself to visit us," Helme said at the regular government press conference Thursday, adding that EKRE does not support all the attitudes she has expressed, BNS reports.

Those views which he said he does not share with Le Pen include her support for same-sex partnerships, and her views on the economy and other areas, which Helme described as ''leftist''.

Another key area of difference is on the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which EKRE officially views as an unacceptable act, but which Le Pen had reportedly previously claimed as a legal move.

Nevertheless, common ground exists between the two leaders, Helme said, principally on the issue of the fight against the bureaucratization of Europe and the concentration of power in Brussels, rather than an emphasis on a union of nation states which allows nationalist political forces to have a voice in the European Parliament, he said.

EKRE MP Jaak Madison announced Le Pen's impending visit to Estonia on his social media page Monday, according to daily Postimees.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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