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The rise of right-wing populist movements across Europe has started to concern not only European governments but also countries around the world. Analogies with other right-wing populist parties such as the American Tea Party are being made. As politicians use populist rhetoric to win votes, one should examine and question how such groups differ from far-left parties, or even the political mainstream. The right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), for instance, won 27 percent of the popular vote in the 1999 national elections.After all, Switzerland, Austria, Norway and Denmark are among the richest countries in the world, but have some of Europe's most successful right-wing populist parties.In many countries, national causes have been combined with xenophobic, anti-Semitic, or Islamophobic overtones, or (for member states) a strong skepticism toward the EU.The elections for the European Parliament in May 2014 will probably reflect the recent success of right-wing populist movements. Currently, however, opinion polls show that having more right-wing populist members of European Parliament won't change European policies.
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