German president warns French voters against trusting Le Pen’s ‘siren songs’ week ahead election
The German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has urged the French electorate to be responsible and not to vote for the "populist and nationalist" candidate in the upcoming presidential election out of fears that Marine Le Pen will stage Frexit, shattering one of the pillars of EU stability.
“Don’t listen to the siren songs of those who promise you a great French future after getting rid of all that is part of France today — guaranteeing European stability and being a pillar of the European Union,” Steinmeier told French newspaper Ouest-France and Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe in response to a question about the possibility of Le Pen securing the election.
Without mentioning Le Pen by name, the German president hinted that her ideas will lead to a potential Frexit, as the National Front leader remains extremely critical of the European Union. In the past, she promised to renegotiate France’s membership of the bloc and potentially pull out of the Union.
Steinmeier insisted that EU membership is of great benefit to France.
“The EU can be complicated sometimes but it is an advantage for all of us, including France,” he said. “We must understand that it is only together... that we can make Europe a true global actor” that could exert influence in world affairs.
“By opposing it, like the populist nationalist parties in France, we will not be actors, but we will become a toy in the hands of the other powers. The stake of the elections in France is, therefore, considerable,” the German leader warned.
Less than 10 days before the first round of the French presidential elections, Le Pen and her National Front (FN) party are leading in the majority of the polls.
According to an IFOP poll, the far right candidate is set to secure 23 percent in the first round, an entire percentage point higher than her closest rival Emmanuel Macron from En Marche! (Forward!).
An Ipsos-Sopra Sterna poll shows that independent centrist Macron and Le Pen would share 22 percent each, while far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon would attract 20 percent of the vote. An Opinionway poll says that Le Pen would garner 23 percent and Macron 22.
France has 45.7 million voters, but according to the polls, about a third of them might abstain from voting on April 23. The tight presidential race will see the top two candidates advance to the May 7 run-off.