Thursday

18th Jan 2018

French far right at 'gates of power'

  • Paris: Valls warned about the rise of the French far-right (Photo: Paul S.)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday (7 September) warned that the far-right is “at the gates of power”, as the ruling left struggles under its unpopular president, Francois Hollande.

"In France, the extreme right of Marine Le Pen is at the gates of power,” he said, speaking at an annual gathering of fellow left-wing politicians in Bologna, Italy.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The warning followed an IFOP opinion poll over the weekend, which suggests Marine Le Pen would beat all her rivals by winning the first round of a presidential election.

It also comes on the heels of an unflattering memoir by Hollande’s former partner Valerie Trierweiler, who describes the 60-year old French president as an opportunist and as someone who spurns the poor.

But under Le Pen the weakest would be the first to suffer, said Valls, “and it will also be a terrible, perhaps fatal, blow to Europe".

Countering the far-right momentum across Europe requires socialist governments and politicians to act and speak differently “in order to be listened to and to be heard,” he said.

Although Le Pen failed to muster enough MEPs to create her own far-right faction in the European Parliament, her precipitous rise in France over the past year has shocked many on the left.

Le Pen’s support base has increased, in part, due to France’s stagnating economy, high unemployment, immigration issues, and a general feeling of discontentment with the ruling government.

The EU's second largest economy registered zero growth in the first six months of this year. And as of July, the number of people seeking work in France rose to a new record at over 3.4 million.

Meanwhile in the port city of Calais, a far-right rally on Sunday demanded stranded migrants seeking better lives in the UK be deported.

In a bid to tackle the failing economy, Hollande authorised Valls earlier this month to present a “general policy statement” or new work programme to the parliament, which is set to hold a vote of confidence next week.

The new work programme includes a so-called Responsibility Pact that offers tax breaks to businesses in exchange for jobs. It also calls for cuts in public spending.

Valls said he was sure the majority in the parliament would support the new programme.

"There can be no other way. If the majority isn't there on that occasion, it would be finished," he told French media in August following a cabinet reshuffle.

Hollande at the time appointed a 36-year-old ex-Rothschild banker as economy minister in an emergency reshuffle in what has been described as a last ditch effort under his presidency to reverse the country’s fortunes.

He made the move after two of his ministers quit in protest against austerity cuts.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia
  2. Taking full benefit of supercomputers in Europe
  3. Spitzenkandidat system 'difficult to get rid of', hopes lead MEP
  4. Rights NGOs face fresh threats across the EU, agency says
  5. EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate, chief insists
  6. EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO
  7. Next year's EU election at risk of Russian meddling
  8. Hungary to tax NGOs that 'help' migration