The German politician from rightwing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) warned the European Union its survival is at stake if it does not make key reforms ahead of the European elections. Speaking on BBC’s Global Questions, Dr Bronson said: “Do not mistake Europe for the EU. Europe is a continent of 47 states – the EU is 27. Finally, we need to reform the EU if it wants to survive.

“Every time, say, a new French President of German Chancellor comes into power they say ‘reforms, reforms, yes, we are going to do that’. And then nothing happens.

“If they continue with this, we have the so-called populist parties getting more and more powerful across Europe.

“And then we will force the reforms that the EU needs to survive.”

The European elections will take place between May 23 and 26, less than two months after Brexit.

With the elections approaching, a political clash is expected to spark a tense battle between Europe’s left-wingers and populists.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini are expected to become the symbols of the two sides at the upcoming vote.

Neither of the two leading politicians will stand for a seat in the European Parliament elections.

But the two political forces have made it clear they will fight for their respective political sides to determine the future of the continent.

The comments come at a challenging time for the EU with the eurozone economy facing its joint-weakest growth in four years this week in the latest of the dreary economic data to hit the bloc.

Italy officially announced in January it had plunged into a recession, sparking fears it could have a crippling effect on the rest of the eurozone economies.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the 19 countries sharing the single currency rose by 0.2 percent for the final three months of 2018, meaning it was stuck on its slowest pace of growth since 2014.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also been battling in recent weeks to control the so-called “yellow vest” protests which have paralysed parts of France since erupting last month with demonstrators clashing with police, torching cars, erecting roadblocks and burning barricades.



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