Macron says France facing 'very serious' moment as far-right and far-left lead polls

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2024-06-15 | 00:28
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Macron says France facing 'very serious' moment as far-right and far-left lead polls
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Macron says France facing 'very serious' moment as far-right and far-left lead polls

France is facing a "very serious" moment as parliamentary elections loom, said President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, with financial markets rattled by the country's far-right and far-left political blocs currently leading polls.

Political uncertainty has already triggered a brutal sell-off of French bonds and stocks after Macron unexpectedly called the election, following a trouncing of his ruling centrist party by Marine Le Pen's eurosceptic National Rally (RN) in last Sunday's European Parliament elections.

"We are at a very serious moment in the history of our country. There are major issues at stake, with wars, and with unprecedented economic challenges," said Macron, speaking at the end of a G7 summit in Italy.

Macron's comments echoed an earlier warning on Friday by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said that France - which is the euro zone's second-biggest economy - faced the risk of a financial crisis if either the far right or left won the coming parliamentary election because of their heavy spending plans.

Calling the two blocs "extremist", Macron said neither were serious politically or realistic economically.

A first series of opinion polls have projected that the RN, which has promised to cut electricity prices and VAT on gas and increase public spending, could win the election and be in a position to run the government.

A poll conducted for Le Point magazine, published on Friday evening, forecast National Rally as in the lead in the first round of the parliamentary election, narrowly ahead of a coalition of left-wing parties called the "Popular Front."

The poll said RN would get 29.5 percent of votes, compared to 28.5 percent for Popular Front and 18 percent for Macron's camp.

At least two polls have put the left not far behind the RN, and ahead of Macron's centrist camp.

Those polls were carried out before left-wing parties agreed a deal to run on a joint platform to try to counter the far right and Macron's camp with pledges to link salaries to inflation and introduce a wealth tax for the rich.

The RN calls for protectionist "France first" economic policies.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference about the priorities of his Renaissance party and its allies ahead of the early legislative elections in Paris, France, June 12, 2024. 

It is expected to announce details of its economic program in coming days and has so far given only broad-brush comments on increasing household purchasing power and cutting energy prices.

Reuters

World News

Emmanuel Macron

France

Far-Right

Far-Left

Polls

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