The election results of the first round on 20 June were widely described in the French media as a slap in the face for President Macron and his La Republique en Marche party [LREM] and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement Nationale [RN].
In advance of next year’s French presidential election, Macron has significantly stepped up the racist offensive – mainly Islamophobia. This is helping boost support for the far-right, – which he hopes to face in the second round of the election.
Macron’s government has expelled hundreds of Muslims from France, placed controls on Mosques and banned the Collective Against Islamophobia. Islamophobia is being whipped up in parallel with increased economic attacks on the population, which follow on from France’s policy not being to eliminate Covid-19.
After three years in office Macron’s reputations is damaged, due to his management of the Gilets Jaunes protests, pension reforms, the COVID pandemic, and his authoritarian stance. He has turned to a witch-hunt against Muslims and anyone fighting Islamophobia in advance of the 2022 presidential elections.
The protestors of the ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow vest) movement have inflicted a humiliating defeat on French President Macron. He has been forced to climbdown and, in a Presidential tv address, has offered a series of reforms in order to try to head off the movement, including a €100 a week increase in the minimum wage.
By Jane West
The French presidential elections ended with Macron sweeping into the Élysée Palace on 66 per cent of the vote, and Le Pen roundly defeated. But this is the beginning, not the end. Macron has no alternative to the politics of austerity that have destroyed the Socialist Party, and therefore he will fail. His popularity will be short-lived and the fight between the left and the far right as to which will succeed in hegemonising the increasing alienated French electorate will break out with renewed force.