French far-right fails to form EU parliament bloc

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Associated Press

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 7:33 AM

PARIS (AP) — France's far-right National Front has failed to form a political group in the European Parliament by Tuesday's deadline, crippling the rising party's ability to make its voice heard.

Party leader Marine Le Pen had earlier expressed confidence in her ability to form a group — at least 25 lawmakers from seven countries, which ensures more speaking time, funds and other advantages.

The party attributed the failure to its refusal to ally with those who don't share its values, a reference to parties like Hungary's extreme-right Jobbik.

"We regret this in the short term," but it's a "long-term moral and political choice," it said.

Britain's Euroskeptic UKIP party, which refused to ally with Le Pen, announced last week that it had formed a group.

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