The head of the international committee of the Federation Council (the upper house of the parliament), Mikhail Margelov, said Le Pen's victory in the first round of the French elections was "a heavy impact on French democracy". The results of the first round "in fact mean a failure of the current political class in France and a sign for renovation of the political generation in the country," said the Russian senator in an interview with RIA Novosti. He believes this shows that the French political elite tried to ignore real problems, that worried the electors. The senator pointed out that Le Pen had won "in the working-class regions, where people traditionally used to vote for the Communists." He believes that French president Jacques Chirac's election campaign was also a failure. However, Margelov is convinced that Chirac will win in the second round. "But people will have to choose between the bad and very bad", he said. On the whole, Le Pen's success in the first round means that "the atmosphere in Europe is becoming more radical," stressed the head of the international committee.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.