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Europe's far right meets in Milan

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Come one, come all: Matteo Salvini calls on his far-right fellows to march in Milan. AFP/Miguel Medina

Italian far-right leader Matteo Salvini has invited Europe's disparate nationalists to a rally in Milan on Saturday, seeking to forge a united front ahead of European elections.


The rally will see leaders of 12 far-right parties marching towards their hoped-for conquest of Brussels after next week's European parliamentary elections.

Headliners Salvini of the anti-immigrant League and Marine Le Pen of France's Islamophobic National Rally hope their Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group will become the third largest in Brussels.

But despite their shared dislike of immigration, multiculturalism, the left and the EU, Europe's populists remain divided on many other key issues, including budgetary discipline, migrant distribution and relations with Moscow.

Most of Europe's right-wing nationalists are currently divided into three blocs and a tangled web of alliances in the European Parliament, which Salvini and Le Pen hope to reunite to create a powerful voice in the new parliament.

The ENF includes Austria's Freedom Party, Belgium's Vlaams Belang and the Netherlands' Party for Freedom, whose head Geert Wilders will be in Milan.

Thousands of League supporters are expected to attend the march.

Notably absent from the rally will be Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party and Poland's governing PiS (Law and Justice party).

Orban has voiced admiration for Salvini and promised "cooperation" after the vote, but refuses any alliance with Le Pen.