Emmanuel Macron’s Grand Ambitions Are at Stake in European Elections

Emmanuel Macron’s Grand Ambitions Are at Stake in European Elections


“A strong Europe is a condition of our sovereignty and I can see that this bothers Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a Facebook Live appearance. The “far-right international” was bent on “destroying the E.U.,” he said.

Pascal Canfin, a prominent Macron candidate, called the National Rally a “useful idiot of this political project, the Trojan Horse of Trump and Putin.”

Ms. Le Pen makes no secret of her hopes for a broad nationalist alliance in the European Parliament, if her party is successful.

“A really big group” is in the process of forming, Ms. Le Pen said, with europhobe nationalists from rising far-right parties in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany and Slovakia.

She and her lieutenants have been finding a receptive audience working-class towns in the heartland of the revolt against Mr. Macron, where factories are closed, farmers struggle, and jobs and prospects are scarce.

“They are for France,” said Didier Margris, a septic-tank specialist who was in the crowd at a National Rally gathering on a recent night in Abbeville, home to 23,000 people, about 100 miles north of Paris.

Well over a hundred supporters — retired teachers, factory workers, former military personnel, small-business owners in jeans — packed into a small hall to hear Ms. Le Pen’s surrogates denounce immigrants, open borders and “Papa Juncker and Mama Merkel,” as they referred to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission; and the German chancellor.



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