When it became clear that Jean-Marie Le Pen would take part in the next round of presidential elections scheduled for May 5, he held a press-conference and announced that France would withdraw from the European Union. Therefore, France knows perfectly well what it will face if the far-right leader becomes president.
However, the announcement was not a surprise. Le Pen has been speaking about resistance to European integration for a long time already. He announced his favorite thesis several times already. He says that “he himself is a determined adversary of a supranational, federal, federalizing Europe that is involving the French people into a shapeless structure without any limits.”
It is more than likely that Le Pen and his followers will stake mostly on resistance to European integration in their propaganda. After his first-round success, Le Pen issued an official communiquй and called upon his followers, “patriots, champions of sovereignty and real republicans” to create a united front against Brussels' technocrats and “, create a real patriotic force to struggle with globalization and protect national independence.”
Despite the almost unanimous assurance of experts that Le Pen is unlikely to become the president of France, his chances of wining the elections are still very high. In any case, the ideas of anti-globalism are extremely popular in France now. The leader and main ideologist of anti-globalists, Jacque Bovet, is also a Frenchman. In fact, his ideas have little to do with Le Pen’s, but the far-right leader uses the anti-globalism to suit his own ends. He is a success with it, we should say.
The majority of Europeans were taken aback and even scared by the results of the Sunday elections in France. It is perfectly clear that the situation is rather strange, as a man whith whom "respectable" people will not shake hands may become president of the country. The problem is that majority of the French people welcome the idea of resistance to “Brussels technocrats." Evidently, the success of European integration is even less than the technocrats themselves believe. There are many opponents of European integration not only in France but in other European countries as well, in Great Britain for example. However, unlike London, which has been striving against European integration within the past years, Paris has always been one of the most ardent champions of European integration.
Certainly, Le Pen’s chance for victory is very illusive. Members of the leftist parties, socialists, communists, and Green Party have already called upon their followers to vote for Jacque Chirac “to save the Republic.” But Le Pen also says he is planning to save the Republic, but he will do it his own way certainly.
On the other hand, the far-right leader had not been taken seriously before the first round of the presidential elections; people were informed about his candidature, nothing more. However, today, we see that this man has stirred up the whole of Europe!
In any case, the National front is very likely to win many seats in the parliament. In the future, it may turn into a really influential political power. It may be as powerful as socialists headed by Jospin and Chirac’s coalition. If this happens, we already know about the plans of Le Pen designed to resist EU officials.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
In the picture, Le Pen supporters celebrate
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/23/40133.html