After the Le Pen-Macron television debate, pundits all over Europe are claiming that Macron had the upper hand but this reporter found Macron too confident, too smooth, like an actor performing his script hoping for the Presidential Oscar and slightly mocking of Le Pen.The debate got quite personal and insulting. They argued their cases for resolving unemployment, immigration, border controls and foreign investment. The contestants represented a passionate nationalism versus calculating globalism. On Sunday it is very likely we will see the same voter model as Trump and Brexit, disenfranchised rural communities and even manufacturing workers turning out for Le Pen in greater numbers than predictions.
France has embarrassing unemployment and Paris is no longer the romantic city it was cracked up to be—taxis are few and far between, Uber drivers seem perpetually lost and in some metro stations commuters consider it unsafe to get out. France is still in a state of Emergency; it has a Muslim population of about 6.4 million, just below 10% of the population but a larger percentage of the population than Germany. France has suffered 24 terrorist incidents since January 2015, with 239 people dead, at least 15 of which have been related to Islamist ideology. It is reported that some of the jihadists were financed by French social welfare payments and when an Israeli manufacturer of terrorist tracking software offered the French help to identify jihadist cells, they were apparently informed there was an instruction not to buy Israeli technology. Many believe Macron is really Hollande in a snazzy suit, there is a fitting expression in France “plus ça change, plusc’est la même chose” (the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing); Le Pen called him arrogant and his policy proposals lax.
Former US President Barack Obama has favoured Macron, just as he favoured the Remain side in the UK EU-Referendum. The EU and Germany think France is entirely reliant on Brussels but perhaps France does not need the EU to revive the economy.
Former US President Barack Obama has favoured Macron, just as he favoured the Remain side in the UK EU-Referendum. The EU and Germany think France is entirely reliant on Brussels but perhaps France does not need the EU to revive the economy. France has a fabulous industry base that might be helped by a protectionist approach. France has mechanical expertise for vehicles and aircrafts, agricultural and food processing capabilities, chemical, electronic, metallurgy and arms industries that might all be advantaged by following a Japanese or Taiwanese example.
Desperate EU chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Guy Verhofstadt dread Marine Le Pen and her threats of a Frexit. They went berserk this week saying Brexit is impossible in the time allowed and alleging that Prime Minister Theresa May and her Brexit team were almost fools to believe a divorce was negotiable in the timeframe. All the rancour and claims of a hopeless outcome could be a punitive ploy to scare any Frexiting French towards Macron, in effect it just shows the bullying and controlling nature of the EU beast.