Still a few more hours before the TV debate between President Macron and Marine Le Pen begins. The countries of the European community and particularly Germany will certainly be more attentive than ever to follow it, because this indeed tonight is a debate which will be basically a referendum for or against Europe.
A European community already divided with for example Poland, pro-Nato and a Hungary not wanting to rally to a unilateral policy consisting in serving without limit the interests of a West which from its glorious era, when it prided itself on being the spearhead of a free world, became over the decades an autocratic war machine leaving little room for the nations composing it to assert their sovereignty.
It is in this context that President Macron will have to convince the French that the European path traced by Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle is still the one to follow. Difficult mission, while Marine Le Pen having done everything to distance herself from the president, will opt for a Frexit and a withdrawal of France from NATO. A decision that could lead, if the French approved it, to a split between Germany and France, marking a turning point in the history of this European adventure.
What concerns the French above all will of course again be linked to purchasing power and lower taxes. Will they believe that this will have to go through European collaboration or rather through asserted autonomy and control of the economy led by a government favoring their interests?
Europe and the economic future of the French will therefore be at the heart of the debate.
As for immigration, Eric Zemmour’s campaign raising the spectre of the great replacement will have demonstrated that this topic has not captured the attention of voters. Marine Le Pen’s strategy of wanting to get away from it, thus erasing her father’s sulphurous past, will therefore have been the right one. This making even more difficult the task of the president who will not be able to assimilate the candidate of the Rassemblement National to any xenophobic connotation.
It only remains to know if the French, after two years of pandemic, will wish to change course, or to remain in the wake of European conformism.
A simple equation with uncertain consequences. French people at a crossroad. People that can write a new page in its history. The history of this old continent that is Europe.
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