Transatlantic unity against Moscow put to the test by the Macron-Le Pen duel

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The American media, very concerned about the war in Ukraine, underlined on Sunday night how much the result of the French presidential election, which opposes the pro-EU and pro-NATO Emmanuel Macron to the nationalist Marine Le Pen, could weigh on the unity of France. . the Moscow West Orientation camp. Press Magazine.

focused on war in ukraine and domestic politics, the US media did not stop at thepresidential elections in france. On CNN in the early afternoon of Sunday, April 10, the result of the first round was the subject of a few sentences on the banner at the bottom of the screen. On the sites of the major newspapers, a handful of articles summarized the election result and provided clues to the analysis.

From the American point of view, France is above all a piece of Europe. The race for the Elysée thus makes it possible to test the political temperature of a continent still marked by Brexit. “With the war in Ukraine and Western unity in danger of being tested as the fighting continues, Ms. Le Pen’s strong performance demonstrated the enduring appeal of nationalist and xenophobic currents in Europe,” writes the New York Times. The newspaper notes that “an anti-NATO and more pro-Russian France, in the event of a Le Pen victory, would cause deep concern in allied capitals, and could fracture the transatlantic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” .

Marine Le Pen, a French Trump?

Several newspapers take up the profile of the National Grouping candidate, often compared to the isolationist former president Donald Trump. His friendships with the Kremlin are the subject of special attention. CNN He thus recalls that Marine Le Pen “was a fervent admirer of Vladimir Putin”. It added: “Le Pen visited the Russian president during his 2017 campaign, but this time, after Russia’s attack on her neighbor, she was forced to withdraw a brochure with a photo of her and Putin taken during this trip.” For Dominic Thomas, a European columnist for CNN, this is the far-right candidate’s Achilles’ heel: “She will have a hard time convincing the electorate of her foreign policy skills, given her long-standing ties to Russia.”

the Washington Post he explains that, by contrast, Emmanuel Macron “assumed a larger international role during the Ukraine war, serving as an interlocutor for Vladimir Putin and as a spokesman for the European Union and NATO. The Russian invasion shook Europe’s sense of security. position of wartime leader, Macron initially saw his popularity ratings rise. But this increase seems to have evaporated in the last two weeks (…)”.

Inflation, nerve of this war

In fact, a candidate’s strengths can also become disadvantages, as the Wall Street Journal. “(Emmanuel Macron’s) advisers at the Elysee Palace said he was too busy calling President Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about the war in Ukraine to campaign on the ground or debate with his rivals.” . “Mrs. Le Pen, meanwhile, toured the country, organizing rallies in small villages. Her highly disciplined campaign focused on the economic scourge of runaway inflation while steering away from the fiery rhetoric that defined the Le Pen clan for years on end. the reign of his father, Jean-Marie, convicted of anti-Semitic speech.

foxnews Please note that if the invasion of the Ukraine can certes fragiliser Marine Le Pen in jetant le discrédit sur ses alliances à l’international, she can also allow her positionner advantage as the candidate du “pouvoir d’achat” , première preoccupation des electeurs, et ce même quand quand la guerre arrive aux portes de l’Union européenne: “Macron a fortement soutenu les sanctions européennes contra la Russie, tandis que Le Pen s’est publiquement inquiétée de leurs effets sur le level de vie French.”

This position by Marine Le Pen is reminiscent of that in the United States of certain elected conservatives who have made inflation one of their favorite topics for the midterm election campaign scheduled for November. “Midterms” during which President Joe Biden, also weakened by this spiraling price increase (dubbed “Bidenflation” by Republicans), could lose his majority in Congress.

>> See “In the press” – First round of the 2022 presidential elections: “The surprise is that there is no surprise”

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