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France’s Presidential Election And The Future Of Europe47:00Download

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With Guest Host Anthony Books.

France readies for a high-stakes election that could lead to the end of the European Union itself. We’ll look at the populist wave and France.

A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates, Benoit Hamon, left, Emmanuel Macron, center, and Marine Le Pen in Paris, France. (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)
A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates, Benoit Hamon, left, Emmanuel Macron, center, and Marine Le Pen in Paris, France. (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Brexit shocked the world. So did Donald Trump. Now comes Marine Le Pen, another right wing populist, who could become the next President of France. With the first round of voting this weekend and a race too-close-to-call, Le Pen wants to suspend legal immigration, say “au revoir” to the elites and the Euro and restore the Franc, French tradition and pride. This hour On Point, the French elections, with the future of Europe at stake.

Guests

Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief for The Economist. (@PedderSophie)

Roger Cohen, op-ed columnist for the International New York Times. (@NYTimesCohen)

Jean-Yves Camus, far-right political expert at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in Paris. Co-author of “Far-Right Politics In Europe.” (@jeanyvescamus1)

Gilles Paris, Washington bureau chief for Le Monde. (@Gil_Paris)

From The Reading List

The Economist: France’s presidential election is a four-way race — "The French have sprung electoral surprises before. They voted against a draft European constitution in 2005. In recent presidential primaries, on the right and the left, they kicked out the favourites, eliminating a former president (Nicolas Sarkozy) and two former prime ministers (Alain Juppé and Manuel Valls). This time, three-quarters of voters could be about to back a candidate who hails from neither of the two political groupings that have run France for the past 60 years. This has already been the most unorthodox French election ever, but even more improbable twists may be yet to come."

New York Times: France in the End of Days -- "For some time France has been a country that does not like itself. Somewhere on the road from its humiliation in World War II to its disappointment with European integration to its discomfort with globalization, France slid into moroseness. High-speed trains purred; France pouted. Grumbling became a way of life, the response to lost grandeur. Now France seems ready to vent this slow-ripening anger in an election that could see the extreme right return to power for the first time since the 1940s and Europe revert to a turbulence not seen since that epoch."

The Nation: Le Pen’s Long Shadow — "Before Donald Trump, before Nigel Farage and Brexit, before Viktor Orban and Geert Wilders, there was Jean-Marie Le Pen. As far back as 1984, this crude, bullying, narcissistic, and bigoted former paratrooper shocked French opinion when his far-right National Front party received nearly 11 percent of the vote in elections for the European Parliament. 
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This program aired on April 20, 2017.

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