Slovakian far right party launches petition for referendum on EU membership

The EU Referendum in numbers

BRATISLAVA, June 25 (Reuters) - Slovakia's far right People's Party launched a petition for a referendum on the country's EU membership on Saturday, the latest state to see a challenge following Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and France have demanded referendums on membership of the union, while Italy's 5-Star movement said it would pursue its own proposal for a vote on the euro.

In Slovakia, which takes over the European Union's rotating six-month presidency in July, the anti-immigration, anti-euro People's Party-Our Slovakia shocked many in a March election when it won 8 percent of the vote, or almost 210,000 votes, to enter parliament for the first time.

"Citizens of Great Britain have decided to refuse the diktat from Brussels. It is high time for Slovakia to leave the sinking European 'Titanic' as well," the party said on its website.

Social reactions to Brexit:

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Anti-establishment, populist, nationalist views leading to #Brexit parallels rise of Sanders & Trump in US & suggests Nov outcome uncertain
Of course Putin is happy about #Brexit. Undermining the integrity and success of the EU is a key project for him.
Conservative supporters of #Brexit completely under-estimate deeply disruptive effect of this vote and real harm to follow
"...and in the end, Britain, which had colonized the world, destroyed itself in fantasies that it was being colonized in turn" — historians.
Sterling gets trashed after #Brexit outcome but (cheeky) British wit shines through #EUref #FX $GBPUSD $EUR
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That's enough fun for one evening. #Brexit
I'm so angry. A generation given everything: Free education, golden pensions, social mobility have voted to strip my generation's future.
Time to make a pot of tea and turn the television off for a while! 🙂
Stop the world im getting off LG x
No matter the outcome, #Brexit polls demonstrate how quickly half of any population can be convinced to vote against itself. Quite a lesson.

Slovak law requires a petition to receive 350,000 signatures from the country of 5.4 million for a referendum to be held. The results of a referendum are legally binding if the turnout exceeds 50 percent of all eligible voters.

The only referendum that has been successful in Slovakia was the 2003 vote on its EU membership with a 52 percent turnout and 92.5 percent in favor of joining the bloc.

According to a Focus opinion poll released last week, 62.1 percent of voters would choose in a referendum to remain in the EU while 22.6 percent would vote leave in Slovakia.

Following the British vote to leave, Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigrant PVV party, said he would make a Dutch referendum on EU membership a central theme of his campaign to become prime minister in next year's parliamentary election.

France's far right National Front party also called for a referendum, cheering a Brexit vote it hopes can boost its eurosceptic agenda, as did the anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DF), an ally of Denmark's right-leaning government.

On Thursday, Britons voted to leave the 28-nation EU, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two. (Reporting By Tatiana Jancarikova; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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