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RCO





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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: French Election - Marine Le Pen sees boost in support Reply with quote

France election: Marine Le Pen sees Trump-like boost in support, but victory far from assured


Published April 22, 2017
· FoxNews.com



With one day before France officially heads to the polls for the first round of its presidential elections, candidate Marine Le Pen -- who has built her campaign on the populist anger that helped President Trump get elected -- is seeing a similar boost in support.

An opinion poll released Friday by Odoxa shows her nearly neck-and-neck with centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, a jump in the past week. Analysts point out that the latest attack in Paris, which killed a police officer and left three other people wounded Thursday, may have contributed to her surge in support.

HOW FRANCE'S ELECTION COULD HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON UNITED STATES

Still, the race is far from decided. As many as one-third of voters had not settled on a candidate this week, Newsweek reported. President Trump said he believed the Champs-Elysees attack would help Le Pen, while former President Barack Obama offered Macron his best wishes in a phone call Thursday. Both Trump and Obama stopped short of full endorsements.

Election stations opened Saturday in French overseas territories voting first -- one day earlier than on the mainland.

Newsweek found many voters across France saying they were leaning toward Le Pen -- which would parallel the surge for Trump last year among undecided voters and supporters who chose to lay low.

'COULD LE PEN WIN?' A GUIDE TO THE FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

André Robert, 56, said her tough stance on terror convinced him. “I’m voting for the candidate who’ll keep us safe.”

“Marine gets me shaking,” 65-year-old Monique Zaouchkevitch said, adding that she'd stayed out of politics until she heard Le Pen speak. “Marine, she’s close to the people.”

In another parallel to the U.S., some voters seemed to suffer from election fatigue and weren't blown away by any of the candidates. Gabriel Roberoir, a 61-year-old former public servant, called the election a “circus,” adding, “I don’t even know why any of them are running.”

Sunday's vote is the first round in the French elections, with the top two candidates advancing to a winner-take-all runoff on May 7. The high-stakes contest is viewed as something of a vote on the future of the European Union, with Le Pen calling for a referendum on France's membership in the bloc.

In a sign of how tense the country has become, a man holding a knife caused widespread panic Saturday at Paris' Gare du Nord train station. He was arrested and no one was hurt.

Conservative former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, whose campaign was initially derailed by corruption allegations that his wife was paid as his parliamentary aide, also appeared to be closing the gap, as was far-leftist, Jean-Luc Melenchon. Campaigning by the 11 presidential candidates got off to a slow start, bogged down by corruption charges around once-top candidate Fillon before belatedly switching focus to France's biggest fear: a new attack.

Le Pen has also echoed some of Trump's hard-line rhetoric on immigration, calling for hardening French borders to stanch what she describes as an out-of-control flow of immigrants.

She has spoken of radical Muslims trying to supplant France's Judeo-Christian heritage and, among other measures, has called for foreigners suspected of extremism to be expelled from the country.

Le Pen, a 48-year-old mother of three, has distanced herself from her father, National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has been convicted of crimes related to anti-Semitism and mocked the Holocaust as a "detail" of history.

Nevertheless, earlier this month she denied the French state was responsible for the roundup of Jews during World War II, drawing condemnation from other presidential candidates and Israel's Foreign Ministry.

A victory for Macron would be a vote of confidence in France staying in the EU. Obama, when he was in office, encouraged Britain not to leave, though it ultimately voted to do so anyway.

Trump backed Britain's decision to exit from the EU and has also predicted that other countries would make similar decisions. Yet during a White House news conference Thursday, the president said he believed in a strong Europe.

"A strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States," he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....sured.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a long, extensive and in-depth article about the French election, including the prospects of all the candidates, not just Le Pen.

Quote:
Your Complete Guide To Sunday's French Presidential Elections First Round

by Tyler Durden
Apr 22, 2017 2:13 PM

Ahead of Sunday's first round of the French election, we have previously provided several perspectives on the political and economic outcomes, including a permutation matrix of all six possible outcomes in terms of "high" vs "low market risk" (from BofA), why the market may be too complacent about a Le Pen - Melenchon result (candidate approval variance is within the polling error), and that European stocks have completely failed to price in any adverse outcome (as DB observed yesterday).

So with markets now closed, and all bets off, if only for the next two days until the results emerge, here is a complete guide to the first round of the first elections, compiled based on research reports by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.

Quote:
Guide to the French elections first round, from Deutsche Bank and Citi

Summary:

* The first round of the French Presidential elections will be held on Sunday 23rd April.
[....]
* Since publication of our initial comprehensive piece on the French elections, the polls for the four major candidates have narrowed considerably and Mélenchon has replaced Hamon on the left wing. The narrowing of the polls and the historical error in actual voting relative to polls makes any of the six outcomes involving the four major candidates possible.
* In order of decreasing likelihood the potential outcomes are (1) Macron vs. Le Pen (2) Le Pen vs. Fillon (3) Macron vs. Mélenchon (4) Le Pen vs. Mélenchon (5) Macron vs. Fillon and (6) Mélenchon vs. Fillon.
* Based on current polls, in our baseline scenario of Macron vs. Le Pen in the second, Macron is expected to win comfortably. Le Pen would have to win the first round with a gap of 5pp or more and/or the participation rate in the second round to fall below 60% for her chances to improve significantly.
[....]
* Macron is favoured to win against all candidates if he makes it to the second round. Based on current polls market concerns about French elections should recede considerably in any outcome with Macron in the second round.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....irst-round


The article goes on at length, and includes the likely reaction of the markets to whatever the results are. The point is that they feel it is unlikely that Le Pen will win.
RCO





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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French presidential election: Le Pen, Macron win first round to advance to runoff


Published April 23, 2017
· FoxNews.com


French politics was shaken to its core Sunday as far-right populist Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron advanced to a runoff presidential election after the first round of voting.

As it became clear that Le Pen would be one of the top two vote-getters, her rivals on the left and right urged voters to block her path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.

"Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France," defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. "As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right."


With 90 percent of votes counted, the Interior Ministry said Macron had nearly 24 percent, giving him a slight cushion over Le Pen's 22 percent. Fillon, with just under 20 percent, was slightly ahead of the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon, who had 19 percent.

The selection of Le Pen and Macron marked the first time in the 59-year history of the French Fifth Republic that neither of the country's two main parties, the Socialists and the Republicans, made the second round of presidential balloting. Macron, a 39-year-old investment banker, made the runoff on the back of a grassroots campaign without the support of a major political party.

With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc's 28 nations, Sunday's outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France's EU membership.

The euro jumped 2 percent to more than $1.09 after the initial results were announced because Macron has vowed to reinforce France's commitments to the EU and euro -- and opinion polls give him a big lead heading into the second round.

While Le Pen faces the runoff as the underdog, it's already stunning that she brought her once-taboo party so close to the Elysee Palace. She hopes to win over far-left and other voters angry at the global elite and distrustful of the untested Macron.

Le Pen, in a chest-thumping speech to cheering supporters, declared that she embodies "the great alternative" for French voters. She portrayed her duel with Macron as a battle between "patriots" and "wild deregulation" -- warning of job losses overseas, mass migration straining resources at home and "the free circulation of terrorists."

"The time has come to free the French people," she said at her election day headquarters in the northern French town of Henin-Beaumont, adding that nothing short of "the survival of France" will be at stake in the presidential runoff.

Her supporters burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, chanted "We will win!" and waved French flags and blue flags with "Marine President" on them.

With a wink at his cheering, flag-waving supporters who yelled "We will win!" in his election day headquarters in Paris, Macron promised to be a president "who protects, who transforms and builds" if elected.

"You are the faces of French hope," he said. His wife, Brigitte, joined him on stage before his speech -- the only couple among the leading candidates to do so on Sunday night.

France is now steaming into unchartered territory, because whoever wins on May 7 cannot count on the backing of France's political mainstream parties. Even under a constitution that concentrates power in the president's hands, both Macron and Le Pen will need legislators in parliament to pass laws and implement much of their programs.

France's legislative election in June now takes on a vital importance, with huge questions about whether Le Pen and even the more moderate Macron will be able to rally sufficient lawmakers to their causes.

In Paris, protesters angry at Le Pen's advance -- some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups -- scuffled with police. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the rowdy crowd. Two people were injured and police detained three people as demonstrators burned cars, danced around bonfires and dodged riot police. At a peaceful protest by around 300 people at the Place de la Republique some sang "No Marine and no Macron!" and "Now burn your voting cards."

Macron supporters at his Paris election-day headquarters went wild as polling agency projections showed the ex-finance minister making the runoff, cheering, singing "La Marseillaise" anthem, waving French tricolor and European flags and shouting "Macron, president!"

Mathilde Jullien, 23, said she is convinced Macron will beat Le Pen.

"He represents France's future, a future within Europe," she said. "He will win because he is able to unite people from the right and the left against the threat of the National Front and he proposes real solutions for France's economy."

Fillon, the Republican candidate said he would vote for Macron on May 7 because Le Pen's program "would bankrupt France" and throw the EU into chaos. He also cited the history of "violence and intolerance" of Le Pen's far-right National Front party, founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was trounced in the presidential runoff in 2002.

In a defiant speech to supporters, Melenchon refused to cede defeat before the official count confirmed pollsters' projections and did not say how he would vote in the next round.

In a brief televised message, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged voters to back Macron to defeat the National Front's "funereal project of regression for France and of division of the French."

Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, who was far behind in Sunday's results, quickly conceded defeat. Declaring "the left is not dead!" he also urged supporters to back Macron.

Voting took place amid heightened security in the first election under France's state of emergency, which has been in place since gun-and-bomb attacks in Paris in 2015. On Thursday, a gunman killed a police officer and wounded two others on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard before he was fatally shot.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....round.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron Advance
For the first time in modern French history, neither candidate is from a major party.

YASMEEN SERHAN 2:42 PM ET NEWS

Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right National Front, is through to the second round of the French presidential election, where she will face Emmanuel Macron, the independent, who won Sunday's first round with 23.7 percent of the vote. Le Pen won 21.7 percent. It's the first time in French history that neither candidate from a major political party is in the second round runoff. It's also the first time a far-right candidate is in the second round since 2002 when Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, lost to Jacques Chirac.

Macron and Le Pen’s strong showings Sunday, which saw an approximately 77 percent voter turnout (slightly lower than the 79 percent who voted in the first round in 2012), signaled a rebuke of the political establishment that has dominated French politics for decades. Macron launched his centrist party in August 2016 after he quit his role in President François Hollande’s Socialist government, and despite the party’s youth it boasts a quarter of a million members. Meanwhile, Le Pen’s FN secured the most votes it has ever received in its nearly half-century history, surpassing the 18-percent first-round finish it saw in 2012.


Even Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far-left candidate who ran under a movement called La France Insoumise, or “Unsubmissive France,” had his strongest performance to date. Though his last-minute surge in the polls wasn’t enough to propel him to the second round, he still managed to claim 19.5 percent of the vote, far surpassing the 11 percent he won during his first presidential bid in 2012.

Republican candidate François Fillon also earned 19.5 percent of the vote, tying Mélenchon for third place. The center-right candidate and former prime minister enjoyed a comfortable lead early on in his campaign, but support wavered in January after his candidacy was embroiled by allegations he misused public funds to pay his wife, Penelope, and two of their children for parliamentary work they are alleged not to have performed. Fillon denied any wrongdoing, although the launch of a formal investigation into both him and his wife prompted several of his Republican allies to quit his campaign.

Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon, who came in last of the main contenders with 6.2 percent of the vote, also suffered from fissures within his own party. Despite clinching a decisive victory during the January primary, Hamon failed to command the support of Socialist party leaders, many of whom, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, endorsed Macron instead. This, paired with the deeply unpopular presidency of Hollande and the competition of similarly far-left Mélenchon, made the ruling party’s poor showing all but certain. The results prompted the losing candidates to urge their supporters to back Macron. Hamon said there was a distinction between a political adversary and an “enemy of the Republic,” referring to Le Pen. Fillon warned that Le Pen would lead France to “ruin.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/04/french-election-results-first-round/523965/
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

French election: Centrist Macron vs. far-right Le Pen


John Leicester and Lori Hinnant, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:28AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 24, 2017 5:55AM EDT


PARIS -- Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France's presidential election, remaking the country's political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.

French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen's path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.

"Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France," defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. "As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right."


The selection of Le Pen and Macron presents voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU's future and France's place in it. It sets up a battle between Macron's optimistic vision of a tolerant France and a united Europe with open borders against Le Pen's darker, inward-looking "French-first" platform that calls for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the French franc.

With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer co-operation among the bloc's 28 nations, Sunday's outcome means the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France's EU membership.

The absence in the runoff of candidates from either the mainstream left Socialists or the right-wing Republicans party -- the two main political groups that have governed post-war France -- also marked a seismic shift in French politics. Macron, a 39-year-old investment banker, made the runoff on the back of a grassroots campaign without the support of a major political party.

With 90 per cent of votes counted, the Interior Ministry said Macron had nearly 24 per cent, giving him a slight cushion over Le Pen's 22 per cent. Fillon, with just under 20 per cent, was slightly ahead of the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon, who had 19 per cent.

The euro jumped 2 per cent to more than $1.09 after the initial results were announced because Macron has vowed to reinforce France's commitments to the EU and euro -- and opinion polls give him a big lead heading into the second round.

While Le Pen faces the runoff as the underdog, it's already stunning that she brought her once-taboo party so close to the Elysee Palace. She hopes to win over far-left and other voters angry at the global elite and distrustful of the untested Macron.

With a wink at his cheering, flag-waving supporters who yelled "We will win!" in his election day headquarters in Paris, Macron promised to be a president "who protects, who transforms and builds" if elected.

"You are the faces of French hope," he said. His wife, Brigitte, joined him on stage before his speech -- the only couple among the leading candidates to do so Sunday night.

Le Pen, in a chest-thumping speech to cheering supporters, declared that she embodies "the great alternative" for French voters. She portrayed her duel with Macron as a battle between "patriots" and "wild deregulation" -- warning of job losses overseas, mass immigration straining resources at home and "the free circulation of terrorists."

"The time has come to free the French people," she said at her election day headquarters in the northern French town of Henin-Beaumont, adding that nothing short of "the survival of France" will be at stake in the presidential runoff.

Her supporters burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, chanted "We will win!" and waved French flags and blue flags with "Marine President" on them.

France is now steaming into unchartered territory, because whoever wins on May 7 cannot count on the backing of France's political mainstream parties. Even under a constitution that concentrates power in the president's hands, both Macron and Le Pen will need legislators in parliament to pass laws and implement much of their programs.

France's legislative election in June now takes on a vital importance, with huge questions about whether Le Pen and even the more moderate Macron will be able to rally sufficient lawmakers to their causes.


In Paris, protesters angry at Le Pen's advance -- some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups -- scuffled with police. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the rowdy crowd. Two people were injured and police detained three people as demonstrators burned cars, danced around bonfires and dodged riot police. At a peaceful protest by around 300 people at the Place de la Republique some sang "No Marine and no Macron!" and "Now burn your voting cards."

Macron supporters at his election-day headquarters went wild as polling agency projections showed the ex-finance minister making the runoff, cheering, singing "La Marseillaise" anthem, waving French tricolour and European flags and shouting "Macron, president!"

Mathilde Jullien, 23, said she is convinced Macron will beat Le Pen.

"He represents France's future, a future within Europe," she said. "He will win because he is able to unite people from the right and the left against the threat of the National Front and he proposes real solutions for France's economy."

Fillon said he would vote for Macron on May 7 because Le Pen's program "would bankrupt France" and throw the EU into chaos. He also cited the history of "violence and intolerance" of Le Pen's far-right National Front party, founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was trounced in the presidential runoff in 2002.

In a defiant speech to supporters, Melenchon refused to concede defeat before the official count confirmed pollsters' projections and did not say how he would vote in the next round.

In a brief televised message, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged voters to back Macron to defeat the National Front's "funereal project of regression for France and of division of the French."

Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, who was far behind in Sunday's results, quickly conceded defeat. Proclaiming that "the left is not dead," he also urged supporters to back Macron.

Voting took place amid heightened security in the first election under France's state of emergency, which has been in place since gun-and-bomb attacks in Paris in 2015. On Thursday, a gunman killed a police officer and wounded two others on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard before he was fatally shot.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/fr.....-1.3381029
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Le Pen is effectively this months Geert Wilders.
A Populist strawman argument that the Pro-Euro folks get to blow over and then celebrate when in reality there was never any threat to either being elected.

Le Pen making it to the second round is impressive;
Perhaps more so than when her father did so in 2002.

However the likelihood that she will pass the 50% threshold is minimum.

The problem with the popularity of Wilders and Le Pen is that when the election is over, no one seems to care about the reasons why they rose in popularity to begin with and that is dangerous.

Brushing off their rise and not looking to at least investigate the causes behind it makes for a divided populous and an angry populous.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This article argues with that point of view, Cosmo. You may be right about Le Pin, in the end, losing ... but the continuation of the policies that we can sum up as 'globalism' in the west, will continue to aggravate Europe. They will not lead to a solution. And Le Pin, or somebody like her, possibly more extreme, will be challenging the next time.

Quote:
The trouble with Emmanuel Macron
James Poulos
April 23, 2017

Emmanuel Macron, a French technocrat running an independent presidential campaign to put political distance between himself and his fellow established elites, edged out insurgent nationalist Marine Le Pen in the most closely watched French election of many Americans' lifetime. Macron nabbed nearly one-fourth of the vote in an 11-candidate field, followed closely by Le Pen. Now he'll face her one on one in the May 7 runoff. But the partisans of the West's mushy middle — favoring more liberal globalization, more financial and economic regulation in lieu of political agency, and no social unrest in the bargain, thanks — are already popping champagne.

"It's a political earthquake in this country and in Europe," one respected journalist told CNN. "Macron's is a remarkable achievement, because he represents optimism."

Yes, fellow Americans, this is how bad it's gotten abroad: Squeaking out a first-round win by symbolizing a future of niceness now strikes the status-quo-ites as the beginning of a world made new.

The reality is considerably grimmer. How dire it was, throughout the French campaign, to watch centrists left and right insist that only they could beat back the forces of "extremism," that catchall term which has served the West so poorly in organizing its resources against foes foreign and domestic. The continued rise of populist, nationalist, and, yes, even communist parties in Europe has shown just how extreme a reaction established neoliberalism has provoked in its failings to date — inadequate, costly efforts, by turns ham-handed, shambolic, and impotent, to manage everything from the Eurozone crisis to the immigration debacle.

Yes, it's all been a tall order; yes, the ruling (or is it managing?) classes should have seen it coming. And yes: However well-intentioned and authentic the likes of Macron and Co., who probably grasp how truly bad it can get in Europe, their ilk are still locked into policies guaranteed to further aggravate political extremism left, right, and Islamic.[emphasis added] They think their political stalemate with Le Pen and her fellow travelers is a victory. Really, it spells a fiercer culture war.

The real story of France and Europe laid bare by Macron's whisker of a win is that simply no consensus exists among today's adult generations about how to refashion a future for Europe.[empahsis added] Right now, there is really no question that the globalist center's ideal "future" has been tabled indefinitely by events. There's not even any falling back on an "end of history." History is skipping like a bad record, glitching over the same travails. An open-ended financial and economic predicament with no rational solution and no mores deep enough to cauterize the wound and start fresh. A continuous low-grade panic attack of police action and surveillance, struggling undermanned and under cultural constraints to prevent just enough terror attacks and abuses, whatever that magic number may be. A complete forfeit of any plan to push EU regulatory unification toward the singularity point that the European project had always envisioned, however abstractly, as its justifying goal.

Neither Macron nor anyone on his ideological team has the first inkling of how to surmount or steer clear of these impasses.

Sometimes life does reduce down to muddling through or bust. But, again, all the trouble and pain is meant to be endured in the name of little more than the same: the secular ethic of terminal niceness, the spirit of the world's last museum curator or librarian, the small passing pleasures of enlightened materialism, the social bureaucrat who nibbes away at the edges of emotional injustice the way pensioners work at a jigsaw puzzle.

Does anyone really believe these values are enough to make indefinite suffering worth it?

Certainly France's and Europe's rising generations, stumbling in the shadows toward alternatives new and old, don't seem convinced. Imagine you are a 14-year-old boy or girl in Paris — secular, Catholic, or Islamic. Can you countenance for one minute the idea that you have a duty to endure the world your elders have made?
http://theweek.com/articles/69.....uel-macron
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
This article argues with that point of view, Cosmo. You may be right about Le Pin, in the end, losing ... but the continuation of the policies that we can sum up as 'globalism' in the west, will continue to aggravate Europe. They will not lead to a solution. And Le Pin, or somebody like her, possibly more extreme, will be challenging the next time.


Agreed,
That was largely my point.

To "win" isn't enough for Macron or Rutte or whomever secures their victory over the "big bad" populists. There has to be an effort to understand the reasons behind these movements, to simply brush it off is not enough because it leaves that resentment and to your point it just leads to someone more extreme next time.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe there's going to be a surprise in the French election as there was in the American one.

Quote:
Macron Booed, Jeered By Factory Workers In His Hometown After Le Pen "Ambush"
by Tyler Durden
Apr 26, 2017 1:46 PM

Chaotic scenes broke out during a visit by French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron to striking factory workers in his hometown of Amiens.

Macron was greeted Wednesday with jeers, boos and chants in favour of his far-right rival Marine Le Pen as he made a chaotic visit to the factory in northern France, after what Bloomberg said was "an ambush" by his nationalist rival Marine Le Pen forced him into a confrontation with some of her hardcore supporters.

Earlier on Wednesday, Le Pen had made a surprise visit to the Whirlpool plant on the edge of Amiens while election front-runner Macron was meeting with union leaders from the plant in the center of town. Le Pen told reporters on the picket line that Macron’s decision to meet the workers’ representatives behind closed doors showed his “contempt” for their plight, forcing her rival to change his plans and engage with the demonstrators live on television.

During the hastily arranged visit, some in the crowd shouted "President Marine!" and booed as the 39-year-old former banker stood outside the appliance factory in the rustbelt city of Amiens.

"I am here to speak to you," said the pro-business former economy minister, ringed by a horde of cameramen and journalists.

The Whirlpool factory has become a focus of the free-trade debate at the heart of the French election campaign because 280 jobs will be cut next year when the company shifts production to Poland.

As Bloomberg describes the scene, "with the black smoke of burning tires whipped up by a cold wind and cries of “Marine! President!” punctuating his remarks, Macron tried to mount a defense of the European trade regime in the factory parking lot as angry demonstrators crowded round."

“When she tells you the solution is to turn back globalization, she’s lying,” Macron told the workers, his comments picked by the microphones of more than 100 reporters witnessing the clash. “We cannot outlaw firing. We must fight to find a buyer.”

Judging by the response, the local workers did not find Macron very convincing.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....pen-ambush


Still, the professional observers think Le Pen has to overcome a 20% lead that Macron holds at present.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a week later, well into the second election campaign. There are reports, based on polls, that show Le Pen's percentage of the vote is going up. Still, she has a huge gap to overcome.

This is how Barclay's Bank sees it, at present.

Quote:
According to Barclays, this debate is key for two main reasons: 1) it will allow Le Pen to clarify her views on Europe (that she has tried to soften to a large extent recently in an apparent move to attract Fillon's voters) which are arguably a weak point on her side; and 2) it may be seen to, informally, mark the start of the campaign for the legislative elections.

Some further thoughts from Barclays:

Quote:
Since the first round, there has been unclear second-round voter guidance from some of the Republicans, including Laurent Wauquiez, Interim president of the Republicans, as well as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who declined to announce how he would vote next Sunday. This has reduced clarity, and has weakened the so-called 'Republican front' against Front National. Despite Le Pen striking an historical alliance with another party (of the sovereignist candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignant), polls have remained largely stable, only tightening very slightly recently, pointing to a c.20pp lead for Macron – with polls having shown very good reliability in the first round.

As we have analysed in previous research reports, the French political landscape is undergoing significant structural changes, with four (possibly five) main political forces. This has been accompanied by a lack of conviction (and ultimately of participation) towards the Presidential election. Given the second round takes place during a bank holiday weekend, it will be key for candidates to mobilise voters through the debate to ensure maximum turnout (especially for Macron), which so far has been estimated to be below the first round (77%), and probably even more importantly to minimise the number of nil votes. Indeed, according to the latest Kantar Sofres poll (2 May), 58% of voter decision is driven by rejection, while the latest ipsos poll (2 May) highlights the risk of having a high share of nil votes in the second round, thus suggesting a risk of a hung Parliament at the 11-18 June parliamentary election rounds. In other words, while polls suggest that Macron remains poised to win the Presidential election, a substantial winning margin, a strong turnout, and a low number of nil votes will be necessary but may not be sufficient for his party is to follow up with a good result at the Parliamentary elections, given the lack of local presence EM has.

Extrapolating the results from the first round of the presidential election to the legislative election based on outcomes in the 577 constituencies (Opinion Way, Harris Interactive, Atlantico) suggests that the probability of a hung parliament is high: 50 to 70 deputies for FN, 40 to 60 for the Socialists, 120 to 150 for LR, 200 to 230 for EM, 15 for UDI, 20 to 50 for the far left and the rest being uncertain.

According to these projections (which are notably not based on opinion polls, in particular the personality of each local politician could have a significant influence) would suggest that even EM, the movement of Emmanuel Macron, would be short of the absolute majority (289). Therefore, based on these calculations, it looks likely that the new president will have to rely either on a coalition, or on a minority government. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron looks more likely to be in a position to avoid a 'cohabitation' than Marine Le Pen. Our view is that the legislative elections will likely be followed by a comprehensive reshuffling of the political landscape, triggered by the formation of a new majority.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-03/watch-live-le-pen-debates-macron-key-things-todays-crucial-debate


When whoever gets to the legislature, they have to cut deals with these other parties. The election for those seats is in the middle of June.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Protests in Paris as Macron, Le Pen campaign for last time before France runoff election


Published May 05, 2017
· Fox News


Greenpeace activists display a banner at the Eiffel Tower reading,"liberty, equality, fraternity," on Friday. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)


Protests broke out in Paris on Friday as French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen made their final bids for votes on the last day of the campaign before the presidential election.

Environmental activists unfurled a protest banner on the Eiffel Tower about 5 a.m. Friday, emblazoned with the French motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." The banner hung on the monument for about 45 minutes, protesting far-right presidential candidate Le Pen.



French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National party, Marine Le Pen, left, and French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement, Emmanuel Macron, pose prior to the start of a live broadcast face-to-face televised debate in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris, France, Wednesday, May 3, 2017 as part of the second round election campaign. Pro-European progressive Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen are facing off in their only direct debate before Sunday's presidential runoff election. (Eric Feferberg/Pool Photo via AP)
Expand / Contract

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National party, Marine Le Pen, left, and French presidential election candidate for the En Marche! movement, Emmanuel Macron, will face off in the presidential election on Sunday. (Eric Feferberg/Pool Photo via AP)


Twelve people were arrested after the incident.

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CHOICE: RISK LE PEN OR SETTLE FOR MACRON

Voting starts in French overseas territories Saturday then moves to the mainland Sunday, with 50,000 security forces on guard. Polling agency projections of the outcome are expected as soon as the final voting stations close Sunday evening, followed by official results.

A crowd wearing T-shirts with Macron's campaign slogans also greeted Le Pen when she paid a visit to Reims Cathedral, the BBC reported. They held placards outside the church and chanted "Marine, give the money back!" -- referencing the accusation that Le Pen and others in her National Front party used European Union-paid parliamentary aides for party activity.

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL VOTE: PROSECUTORS INVESTIGATING 'FAKE NEWS'

Students at 10 high schools also spoke out by completely or partially blocking the entrances to the buildings, the Paris school district said. Students at Lycée Buffon wrote an open letter to French voters asking them to choose "democracy" in Sunday's runoff.

"I'm 15, 16, 17 or 18, I'm a student. Even If I'm not old enough to vote, I'm concerned," the letter said. "Dear reader, you should know that Marine Le Pen's France is not the France we love. Our France is beautiful, tolerant and cosmopolitan. So go and vote on Sunday, for this France, this democracy."

The letter, however, did not call voters to support Macron.

Macron spent part of the last day of the campaign mingling with supporters in the small streets of the southwestern town of Rodez. He also visited a 16th century cathedral without press.

His supporters wished him "courage" and luck ahead of the runoff. Some left-wing voters told him they will choose him on Sunday, but will remain vigilant about his pro-business project they fear will weaken workers' protections.

Both candidates are looking to extend their leads, though polls suggest Macron could secure a comfortable victory.

Macron also earned an endorsement from former president Barack Obama.

The candidates faced off in a nasty two-hour televised debate on Wednesday where they often attacked each other personally. At one point, Le Pen alluded that her centrist opponent could be holding an "offshore account in the Bahamas."

Macron responded to the slur as "fake news" and filed a complaint the next morning.

Le Pen later admitted she had no proof the offshore account existed. French prosecutors launched an investigation into whether fake news improperly could affect voting.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....ction.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that Le Pen is coming on, but will it be enough.

I never appreciated how hostile the French electorate are until recently, when I saw that the candidate of the ruling socialist party, the party of President Hollande, got only 7% of the vote. I have dismissed Macron as a tarted up puppet for the old establishment, but who knows? He certainly isn't an outsider to politics, if that's a qualification, but he has formed a new party out of the dissatisfied supports of the regime, and successfully positioned it in top spot to win. Not a little achievement.

But if the French feel much like the Americans do about globalism, then anything is possible. The commentators don't even want to think about the consequences of a Le Pen victory. France might get out of the EU in order to get control of its immigration policy. It might get out of the euro, the new currency of the EU. From what I can see, it doesn't look as if anyone has taken Le Pen's chances of victory very seriously.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! This is a newsflash,

Quote:
Macron Says He Is Victim Of "Massive, Coordinated" Hack After 9 Gigabytes Of Private Documents Released
by Tyler Durden
May 5, 2017 6:58 PM

As reported overnight, the anonymous source of documents alleging Emmanuel Macron's involvement with an operating agreement for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the Caribbean island of Nevis returned to release several high quality images of the purported documents along with promises to release even more documents and identify account locations and the extent of the assets Macron is supposedly hiding from regulatory authorities.

The leaker noted that Macron's assets were not located in the Bahamas as was been reported by some media outlets, but in the Cayman Islands, another known hotspot for tax evasion. They further stated that they were taking measures to conceal their identity because they are located in the European Union and did not wish to be arrested. The leaker also explained that they were one of a small group of individuals working online with a source in the Cayman Islands to expose the leaked information. They claimed that they were in possession of SWIFTNet logs dating back for several months, and would soon not only know where Mr. Macron's alleged accounts are located but also the "extent of the money he is hiding from [France's] government."

Then, earlier today, this is precisely what happened when 4chan released several gigabytes of email archives and files related to Macron. It was enough to attract Wikileaks' attention. [....]

Then on Friday evening, Macron's political party said its computer systems were hacked, after "thousands of emails and electronic documents purporting to come from the campaign were posted anonymously on the internet Friday evening." According to the WSJ , the files had been obtained several weeks ago from the personal and work email accounts of party officials, according to a statement from Mr. Macron’s party, En Marche!, or On the Move. The file dump comes less than two days before the final round of France’s presidential race, which pits Mr. Macron against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....ocuments-r


The files can be accessed at a site given in the article. I don't trust my French enough to make anything out of them. I imagine we'll soon have a pretty good ideas about some stinky stuff. Or maybe it's the only way business can be done under current French regulations.
.
I don't know how anybody can tell who's going to win this election.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank Gawd ... there is no freedom of the press in France. The government can intervene, like Superman, to restore Justice!

Quote:
France Warns Media Not To Publish Hacked Macron Emails, Threatens With Criminal Charges
by Tyler Durden
May 6, 2017 9:40 AM

After 9 gigabytes of Macron-linked documents and emails were released on an anonymous pastebin website on Friday afternoon in what Macron's campaign said was a "massive and coordinated" hacking attack, France - fearing a similar response to what happened with Hillary Clinton after 35,000 John Podesta emails were released one month before the US presidential election - cracked down on the distribution of the files, warning on Saturday it would be a "criminal offense" to republish the data, and warning the French media not to publish content from any of the hacked emails "to prevent the outcome of the vote being influenced." [....]
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....al-charges
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Emmanuel Macron Elected President Of France With 65% Of The Vote: Live Feed
by Tyler Durden
May 7, 2017 2:03 PM

Update: As Emmanuel Macron arrived in the courtyard of Paris's Louvre museum to deliver his victory speech to thousands of supporters, the European Union's anthem "Ode to Joy" played in the background.

"Tonight, France won," he said to rapturous crowds, adding that "Europe and the world are watching us." Macron said, cited by the Telegraph, that France is facing an "immense task" to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threats.

"Our task is huge and it will require the courage of truth” he repeated. Speaking to thousands of supporters from the Louvre Museum's courtyard, Macron said that Europe and the world are "watching us" and "waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places."

“We have the force, the will… we will not give into fear, into lies… to the love of decline and defeat”

Macron said "everyone said it was impossible. But they didn't know France!" and promised to work to unify France after a bruising presidential campaign and serve the country "with love."

He also vowed to the French public: "I will protect you in the fact of threats" and said “I will respect what everyone thinks and believes, because I want the unity of our country. I will serve you with humility, strength and in line with our motto: liberty, equality, fraternity… I will serve you with love.”

His wife Brigitte then came up on stage with him, and she kissed his hand and waved to the crowd.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....-live-feed
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French Election - Marine Le Pen sees boost in support

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