Pécresse attacks Macron by “zigzagging” while the French right is attacking the president | France

Emmanuel Macron was criticized by the French right this weekend as Valérie Pécresse was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate, while far-right television specialist Eric Zemmour launched a new party and Marine Le Pen traveled to Poland for a show of force. with the Polish Prime Minister and other European populist parties.

Pécresse said his “mission” was to stop Macron. She described him as a “zigzagging” president who had “driven France into the wall of debts and taxes, a society where there is no longer either respect or authority”. In her first interview with the Journal du Dimanche, she said Macron had confronted future generations with a host of issues, including “debt, trade deficit, taxes, struggling public services. [and] a chronic crisis of authority ”. She added: “France is damaged and divided, everything must be fixed. “

Pécresse will travel to the heart of southern France on Monday for the far-right MP Éric Ciotti, whom she beat in the final of the primary and who pressured her on Sunday to prioritize her harsh policies in immigration and taxation in order to win back the voters of Le Pen and Zemmour of the extreme right.

Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon organized a large presidential campaign rally calling for an urgent display of “strength and unity” by left-wing voters in France, insisting that the nation was not to swing to the right after opinion polls in recent months suggested greater support than ever for far-right candidates and uncompromising anti-immigration rhetoric.

Centrist Macron is expected to announce a candidacy for re-election in January or February ahead of the April presidential election. But the choice this weekend of Pécresse as candidate for Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, Les Républicains, immediately accelerated the electoral campaign.

Macron’s government spokesman Gabriel Attal told Le Parisien that there was no clear political line within the Republicans and that Pécresse would have to do political “acrobatics” to try to keep all opinions together. “Antagonistic” parties. He said the right was in an “existential crisis” and argued that Macron’s transformation of the labor market, lowering taxes and creating police jobs meant “we did everything Pécresse could have done. do when she was minister [under Sarkozy], but what she did not do ”.

Meanwhile, Zemmour, a far-right television expert convicted of inciting racial hatred and with no previous political experience, held his first electoral rally in an exhibition space 20 km north of Paris in Villepinte. There were street protests against him by trade unionists in Paris as well as scuffles inside the rally itself after several people protesting against Zemmour took off their jackets in the public to reveal anti-racist T-shirts .

Zemmour announced that he was forming a new political party called Reconquête, which means “reconquest”, as he pledged to save “the fate of French civilization” against what he called the threat of migrants.

He attacks the political system and the media, promises to raise the wages of low-wage workers who are fed up with the enrichment of the business class, and promises “zero immigration” if he comes to power.

The 63-year-old polemicist has been attacked by historians for claiming that Nazi collaborator Marshal Philippe Pétain saved French Jews rather than aiding their deportation to death camps. He has been described by the French Minister of Justice as a dangerous racist and Holocaust denier.

On stage, he denied being racist or misogynist, claiming he was the sole defender of “free speech”.

Before the rally, several hundred people joined a protest against Zemmour in Paris which was run by unions with banners saying “Zemmour out” and denouncing him as racist.

Simon Duteil, spokesperson for the Solidaires union, said it was important to show that people will oppose “the advance of fascism”. A total of 48 people were arrested during anti-Zemmour protests in Villepinte and Paris.

It was a sign of the division of the presidential campaign that while Jacqueline Mourad, a key Breton figure in the yellow vests (yellow vests), went on stage to support Zemmour, at the same time as another figure of the yellow vests was arrested for having demonstrated against Zemmour outside the rally.

Pécresse said of Zemmour: “In the history of France, people who divide have never been flavors. The fear merchants do not provide solutions. She said her party was the only “credible alternative”.

Mélenchon urged left-wing voters to unite behind him. The left is split into several different candidates, including the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the Greens Yannick Jadot, polls showing that the division prevents any candidate from reaching the presidential final round.

“France is not the extreme right,” Mélenchon said. “France is its system of social security, public health, emancipation, school, research and sharing. The situation in France was “volatile,” he told Le Parisien – claiming that the left would qualify for the presidential final if working-class neighborhoods voted.

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