Forbidden love: Putin and the French far right | The Far Right

The European right has long been enamored with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with leaders calling him “a true patriot” and a “defender of European values”, even a “politician”. the best today”.

They may seem like strange bedmates in a favorable marriage, but they are more than that – they are in love, albeit a forbidden love, now Putin has become a lover in European capitals.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned European leaders against Putin, but its influence on the far right has so far been negligible, no less in France, which will host the first round of the election. presidential election on Sunday.

French opposition leader Marine Le Pen, the de facto spokesperson for the European far-right, has risen in the polls despite her continued support and admiration for the Russian leader.

She is almost certain to make it to the second round, with recent polls showing she is closing the gap with incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.

And this is not the first time her numbers have improved despite her relationship with Putin.

In 2014, Le Pen endorsed the Kremlin’s referendum on Russian-annexed Crimea as legitimate and accused Putin of being a fraud. In 2015, French press reports based on hacked Kremlin files suggested that Le Pen may have aided her in the takeover of Putin in exchange for a loan of 9 million euros (9.9 million euros). USD) from a Russian bank – although allegations of an improper loan were never proven.

However, despite all of this, Le Pen continued to rise in the polls and qualified to make it to the second round of the 2017 presidential election. During the passing, she almost folded. double the numbers that her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, achieved in the 2002 delivery, received 34% of the vote. And if polls continue, she will likely triple by 2022.

Two decades ago, France was completely shocked by a far-right candidate who made it to the second round of the presidential election whose senior Le Pen’s success brought a “disputed” majority to unite after the election. incumbent Jacque Chirac. Today, hardly anyone is shocked or surprised by Marine Le Pen going up against incumbent Macron for a second time.

Le Pen has supported Putin since taking over from her father’s party in 2011. And while she may have tactically distanced herself from Putin after he “crossed a red line” by invading Ukraine, one sovereign European country, she Yes only “partially changed” her thinking about the Russian leader.

The same goes for the more far-right presidential candidate, Eric Zemmour, who in 2018 wish for a “Putin of France” who could stand up to the intellectual elite and reverse the decline of France. He may have condemned the Russian invasion, but he also stated that “if Putin is guilty, the West is responsible” for the Ukraine war.

These two far-right candidates are about to receive the support of nearly a third of French voters, much higher than the expected support for Macron in the first round.

So, what attracted Putin? And why does Le Pen keep climbing in the polls even though she’s been in a long-term relationship and flirting with her notorious mistress?

The French far-right longs to see Putin’s blend of authoritarian nationalism, social conservatism and Christian traditions across Europe, and believes that European capitals have abandoned all all of that in support of the “monstrous European Union”, social liberalism and unbridled immigration, notably from Muslim countries.

Le Pen shares the same worldview as Putin and Trump: She believes that a great nation will do what it has to – albeit sometimes brutally – to be great.

And like Putin and Trump, she exploits the vulnerabilities of working-class families, who feel distressed by work and personal insecurity as well as social and economic marginalization. economy – blame liberalism, globalization and immigration for their unhappiness.

A mark study polling patterns in the Paris region in 2017 showed that the closer people were to Paris by train, the more likely they were to vote for Macron, and those farthest and least connected voted majority for Le Pen, noticeably changing every five kilometers.

That segment of the population, which relies heavily on private transportation, has created gilets jaunes uprising (yellow vest) in 2018, protesting vehemently against higher fuel prices, economic hardship, increasing inequality, and the political establishment while mocking environmental liberals.

For the majority of French voters, Macron’s domestic “failures” outweigh his European and international desires. Like other Europeans, French voters are primarily motivated by domestic rather than foreign concerns. And when they say “anyone but Macron” it could well be a de facto vote for anti-establishment far-right candidates.

These populist candidates have turned anger into an art form; lamenting a “soulless”, “suicide” France in decline. Their gloom and doom has infected about 75% of the French population, who believe that France’s decline is irreversible, even if, paradoxically, 78% of them say they are satisfied. when the economy recovers and unemployment falls.

The main difference lies in the unfortunate and dangerous politics of selling Islamic signals, when Macron and his rightful blame Islam and Muslims for the change and decay of French society.

With just a week to go before the election, Macron has warned the French against a far-right victory in the event of low turnout, declaring his alternative to re-election is communism. Nazi.

It’s an unfortunate ultimatum for a nation so diverse in talent and ideas.

However, while France may want and deserve better leadership than “Macron and Macroism”, it will not find prosperity and security in a France like Putin or Marxism. Putinism.

A topic worth expanding on next.

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