Bannon to set up far-right think tank in Brussels

Aude Guerrucci / POOL

Former Chief political strategist and senior counselor for US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, makes a phone call outside Trump Tower, in New York, New York, USA, 09 December 2016 (reissued 18 August 2017).

Bannon to set up far-right think tank in Brussels


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Steve Bannon is planning to create a think tank in Europe with an eye to the 2019 European parliament elections.

The think tank is likely to be situated in Brussels, the Daily Beast reports.

Bannon told the Daily Beast that he wants to offer an alternative to the George Soros Open Society foundation for the promotion of liberal values; Bannon calls Soros “evil but {…} brilliant.”

The “Movement,” according to Bannon, will be devoted to offering campaign assistance to rightwing parties across Europe. Over the last year, he has been meeting with far-right politicians across Europe, including Victor Orban, Nigel Farage, and Marine Le Pen.

The former campaign coordinator for the Trump campaign and, later on, senior White House strategist has a long-established relationship with Europe’s Eurosceptic, xenophobic and Islamophobic far-right. The far-right Breitbart platform he developed and run has hosted all of Europe’s far-right leaders.

Many of the conservative funders of the Trump campaign have also channelled cash into far-right campaigns in Europe.

Commenting on Bannon’s intentions, the centre-left (SPD) German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, told Welt that Europe cannot simply fear nationalist campaigns and should be confident that our values are stronger than his hate and his lies.”

Florian Hahn of the further-than-center-right Christian Social Union – that has adopted a vehemently anti-migration policy that has undermined Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition – urged the government to take Bannon’s ideas “seriously.”

Even the traditional pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), who have drifted towards a pro-Russia and anti-migration political agenda – with ample Euroscepticism – condemned Bannon’s afront of European values.

The only openly enthusiastic welcome in Germany came from the chair of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), who hailed and welcomed Bannon’s “exciting and ambitious” agenda, DW reports.

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