European leaders react to far-right victory in France

  01 July 2024    Read: 769
  European leaders react to far-right victory in France

European politicians’ reactions to the first round of the French legislative elections ran the gamut from jubilation to dismay, as the results showed a far-right surge.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party rocketed to first place with a third of the vote according to results published by the French interior ministry. An alliance of left-wing parties made a strong showing and came in second, while French President Emmanuel Macron’s party ran a distant third.

“This is all really starting to smell of great danger,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said about the far right’s victory, speaking at a press conference in the city of Rzeszow Monday morning.

“They love [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, money and power without control,” Tusk posted separately on X, seeming to refer to the Continent’s far-right parties. “And they are already in power or are reaching for it in the East or West of Europe.”

“They are joining ranks in the European Parliament. In Poland, we reversed this fatal tide at the very last moment,” Tusk added. “Let’s not waste it.”

“FÉLICITATIONS!” Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders posted on X on Monday, with a heart and a flexed bicep emoji.

The co-chair of Germany’s Green party, Ricarda Lang, said Macron’s decision to call a snap election in France was a misjudgment. “Macron’s move to call new elections was a miscalculation and has now probably contributed to strengthening the far right,” Lang told POLITICO’s Berlin Playbook podcast.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, the French results were being watched “very closely,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who added that French voters have spoken. “We will probably wait for the second round, although the preferences of the French … are more or less clear to us,” he said.

The National Rally has been criticized for its Moscow-friendly agenda and for a €9 million loan it took out from a Russian bank to help finance its campaign in 2014, which it only finished paying back last year.




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