French far-right strengthens positions amid wave of protests

15.01.2019, Paris.

Marine Le Pen’s right party has strengthened its positions in the wake of the Yellow Vests protests, the Spanish newspaper El País reports on January 14.

According to French polls, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party is the only French political movement which is gaining popularity, reports the Spanish paper. At this moment, she is the only candidate with 40% electoral rating. Jean-Luc Melenchon of Unconquered France (LFI) is the closest competitor on the left with only 20%. According to the author of the article, Le Pen’s wise policy is the reason for such results. She renamed the National Front into the National Rally party, and she knows how to keep political distance from the far-right and from the left when assessing the causes for the unrest in Paris in recent months.

“Many of the Yellow Vests leaders do not want to be elected. They prefer to maintain independence and not to associate with any political movement. I respect that. However, it is obvious that there are common points with my agenda,” said Le Pen. According to her, she enjoys such support because of the “forgotten France” (people from the heartland of France).

French riots with participants wearing yellow vests began in November 2018. The increase in fuel prices was the main reason for the protests.

The ongoing unrest turned the demands into increasingly social in nature: from tax reform, raising the minimum wage, building 5 million units of affordable housing to banning propaganda in the media.

Editorial comment

If one ponders over what the protesters are demanding, it becomes clear that they are primarily concerned with raising the standard of living and with problems of migration. However, it is noteworthy that most votes that were cast in the Internet polling that the authorities organized were on the issue of prohibiting the same-sex marriage. We can recall the protests that unfolded in this country in 2012–2013 in connection with the law that made same-sex families equal with traditional ones. Then, in one day, from 700 thousand to 1.3 million protesters came out to the Field of Mars park around the Eiffel Tower; there were many families with children among the protesters. The protests were suppressed then with a degree of violence that is common for Europe. Assuming that both of these protests merge, this could lead to a full-scale political crisis.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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