Tag Archives: France

Marine Le Pen is what happens when you try to meet racism in the middle

Source: The Intercept
by Mehdi Hasan

“Shame on them all. French leaders from across the political spectrum could not prevent a far-right candidate, who has denied the role played by her country’s wartime Vichy government in the Nazi Holocaust, from reaching the second and final round of the presidential election. On Sunday, Marine Le Pen became only the second National Front (FN) candidate in French history to make it through to the second round — the first was her Holocaust-denying father, FN founder Jean Marie Le Pen, in 2002 …. So who is to blame for the rise and rise of Le Pen and the FN? The conventional wisdom says that mainstream French politicians allowed the far right to win votes by letting them monopolize the issue of immigration. The reverse is, in fact, the case: over the past four decades, both the center-right Republicans and center-left Socialists went out of their way to try and co-opt the xenophobic rhetoric and policies of the Le Pens, which only emboldened — and normalized — both father and daughter.” (04/24/17)


France: Would-be presidents make last-minute appeals before vote

Source: Reuters

“Candidates in France’s presidential election made last-ditch appeals to sway undecided voters on Thursday as the third and fourth placed contenders kept up the pressure on the two hopefuls leading opinion polls. Voters will cast ballots on Sunday in the first round of what has turned into the most unpredictable French election in memory, with four of the 11 candidates within reach of the two places for the run-off on May 7. … A Harris Interactive poll showed [Emmanuel] Macron and [Marine] Le Pen still in front, with the gap a bit wider than before. The centrist inched ahead to 24.5 percent while Le Pen was a bit weaker on 21 percent. Conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon scored 20 percent, meaning he was now gaining on Le Pen. Jean-Luc Melenchon, a far left politician propelled from wildcard to genuine contender thanks to feisty television performances and smart social media campaign, was stable on 19 percent. An Ifop-Fiducial poll showed roughly the same breakdown.” (04/20/17)


France: Paris on high alert after two police officers killed on Champs-Elysees

Source: WDAZ 8 News

“A second policeman has died from wounds received when he was shot by an attacker in central Paris on Thursday evening, a police source said. Police said a search was underway at the home east of Paris of an attacker who was shot dead after opening fire on police on the Champs-Elysees, killing one police officer immediately and wounding another. The shooting, in which the assailant was also killed, took place on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France’s presidential election. A witness told Reuters that a man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a machine gun.” (04/20/17)


France’s Bernie Sanders started his own party and is surging in the polls

Source: The Intercept
by Zaid Jilani

“Jean-Luc Melenchon, an insurgent left-wing candidate for France’s presidency, is surging. His candidacy, organized under the newly-established party La France Insoumise (‘Unsubmissive France’) has gone from a quixotic bid to a viable challenge in just a few months. … Many have drawn comparisons between Melenchon and Bernie Sanders. … But there is a major difference between Sanders and Melenchon. The American chose to run within an existing political party, while the Frenchman seeks to compete against them. That’s why, unlike Sanders, Melenchon is still in the running at this late stage, as the voters are souring on the candidates of the far-right and co-opted center.” (04/18/17)


France: Le Pen attacked on stage by “topless” woman with bunch of flowers after violent street clashes between protesters and cops

Source: The Sun [UK]

“Marine Le Pen was attacked on stage by a topless woman with with a bunch of flowers as her campaign rally was marred by protesters throwing missiles at police. The French right-wing leader addressed around 5,000 Front National (FN) supporters at the Zenith concert hall in the north of the city this afternoon, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. But there was chaos on the streets outside as menacing masked demonstrators dressed in black clashed with cops. Troublemakers hurled objects including rocks, chunks of wood and smoke bombs at riot police standing between them and the venue. Officers were seen firing tear gas back in an attempt to keep the mob at bay.” (04/17/17)


France: Macron, Le Pen edge further ahead of Fillon, Melenchon in poll

Source: US News & World Report

“French centrist Emmanuel Macron is set to top the voting in the first round of France’s presidential election ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and their leads over conservative Francois Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon have widened, a poll showed on Monday. The Elabe poll for magazine L’Express showed Macron winning 24 percent of the vote on Sunday, up from 23.5 percent the last time the survey was conducted a week ago. Le Pen’s score also improved slightly, rising to 23 percent from 22.5 percent, which would put her and Macron on course to face off in a May 7 runoff that he was seen winning by 62 percent to 38 percent.” (04/17/17)

Le Pen: France not responsible for World War Two round up of Jews

Source: Washington Post

“Far-right French presidential contender Marine Le Pen made ‘a serious mistake’ by denying that the French State was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II, her main rival said Monday. Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist, was among many presidential candidates criticizing Le Pen’s comments Monday. … Le Pen said Sunday on RTL radio ‘I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,’ in reference to the stadium where many thousands of Jews were rounded up in July 1942 before being sent to Nazi death camps. Le Pen later said in a written statement she ‘considers that France and the Republic were in London’ during wartime and ‘the Vichy regime wasn’t France.'” (04/10/17)


France: “Carlos the Jackal” sentenced to third life term for 1974 attack

Source: MSN

“The man known as ‘Carlos the Jackal’ has been convicted in a French court of a deadly 1974 attack on a Paris shopping arcade and sentenced to life in prison for the third time. The Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is already serving two life sentences in France for murders and attacks he was convicted of perpetrating or organizing on behalf of the Palestinian cause or of communist revolution in the 1970s and ’80s.” [hat tip — David Klaus] (03/28/17)


France: Clashes in Paris over police killing of Chinese man

Source: USA Today

“Violent clashes in Paris between police and protesters angry at the police killing of a Chinese man in his home have left three police officers injured and 35 protesters arrested, authorities said Tuesday. Demonstrators, who were from the Asian community, had gathered in the multicultural 19th district on the French capital’s northeastern edge, police official Agnes Thibault Lecuivre said. They were paying homage to a Chinese man killed Sunday by a police officer, outraged by reports that he was shot in his home in front of his children while he was cutting up fish. Police say the officer fired in self-defense during a raid because the victim, whom Chinese media say is Chinese, wounded an officer with a bladed weapon.” (03/28/17)


France: Minister quits over scandal as Macron’s presidency bid gathers pace

Source: Reuters

“Centrist Emmanuel Macron’s bid for power in France gathered pace on Tuesday when he won support from a junior minister in the Socialist government while the interior minister resigned amid scandal in a new twist to the topsy-turvy presidential campaign. Voters rated Macron as the strongest performer of the five leading candidates who took part in the first debate of the presidential election campaign on Monday night, watched by nearly 10 million viewers, according to snap opinion polls. His front-running status was reinforced by an endorsement from a junior minister in Socialist President Francois Hollande’s administration, the first government member openly to back the independent politician in preference to the Socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon.” (03/21/17)