French Presidential | Macron-Le Pen race heats up

(Paris) After the institutions on Tuesday, place for foreign policy: Marine Le Pen tackles delicate ground against Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, with the aim of establishing his presidential stature, while the passing of arms between the candidates is increasing .

Posted at 7:10 a.m.

Eric LAGNEAU and Léon BRUNEAU with the political department of AFP
France Media Agency

From dawn, the two adversaries continued their bitter exchanges. Visiting a construction company in Gennevilliers (Hauts-de-Seine), the RN candidate judged that the government and Emmanuel Macron were in “denial” in the face of the “wall of inflation” which France was going to face .

Asked earlier on France 2 about the measures to take in the face of inflation, Emmanuel Macron had already replied that “what we have decided with the government on electricity, gas and gasoline is more efficient than a reduction in VAT”, as proposed by Mme The pen.

The candidate also denounced the “febrility” of her opponent, who criticizes her for an “authoritarian drift” with regard to the press and institutions.

When Mme Le Pen “says” you are a journalist, but sir is not because he says things that do not please me “, we have the beginning of an authoritarian drift”, affirmed on France 2 the candidate president, noting that his opponent had also proposed to “change the Constitution at his hand”.

battle of numbers

Asked about these remarks, the far-right contender ironically wondered if it was the “same President of the Republic who suppressed the press room at the Elysee Palace” and “who created a scandal within newsrooms because he wanted in each newsroom to choose the journalists who followed him”. According to her, “all this shows a form of feverishness on the part of the president”.

Marine Le Pen is on the defensive on another front, this time with the National Commission for the Control of the Electoral Campaign (CNCCEP), which, according to France Inter, has asked her for clarification on her profession of faith for the second round.

In the crosshairs of the “gendarme” of the campaign, figures put forward to illustrate Emmanuel Macron’s record on insecurity and immigration.

“I really do not see what could push the judge of the election to prohibit my profession of faith, which would amount to addressing to the French only the profession of faith of the outgoing president”, replied Marine Le Pen. “Beware of this type of maneuver […] be careful to respect democracy,” she warned.

In view of April 24, the two finalists are eyeing the voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came in third place on Sunday evening with 21.95% of the vote.

Abstention, blank vote or Emmanuel Macron vote? Jean-Luc Mélenchon launched the consultation of his 310,000 supporters on Wednesday, the ex-candidate having already called not to “give a single voice to Le Pen”. The consultation, the results of which will be public, ends on Saturday at 8 p.m.

The two finalists “are not equivalent. Marine Le Pen adds to the project of social mistreatment that she shares with Emmanuel Macron a dangerous ferment of ethnic and religious exclusion, ”said the LFI candidate in a message to voters.

Europe divides them

On Wednesday, the head of state regains his role as president with a Council of Ministers, then he will participate in 8 p.m. on TF1 the day after his rival.

After his morning trip to Gennevilliers, Mme Le Pen will continue in the afternoon with a press conference in Paris on the subject of diplomacy and foreign policy.

For the RN candidate, who can claim to have campaigned extensively since the fall, the goal is now to broaden her base and appear presidential.

On foreign policy, everything opposes the outgoing president and his rival. Neither Atlanticist nor multilateral, Marine Le Pen focuses all her diplomacy on the idea that France would no longer be “respected” in the world. She sees Europe as a brake and wants, for example, to renegotiate the Schengen agreements in order to reinstate border controls or lower France’s financial contribution to the EU.

Emmanuel Macron has, on the contrary, made Europe the central pillar of his diplomacy for five years, as he said again on Tuesday evening in Strasbourg, stressing that this election is also “a referendum on Europe”. Nationalism leads to “an alliance of nations that want to go to war” in Europe, he believes.

The conflict in Ukraine is expected to feature prominently in Le Pen, she who tries to forget her closeness to Russia and Vladimir Putin. The candidate nevertheless condemned the Russian invasion and said very early on that she was in favor of welcoming refugees from this country to France.

On the other hand, it remains hostile to economic sanctions against Moscow, which alter the purchasing power of the French.

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