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France faces threat of ‘civil war’ – Macron

The French president has warned that an election victory for the far left or the far right could lead to armed conflict

Upcoming legislative elections in France could lead to civil war if political parties on either the far left or the far right sweep to power, President Emmanuel Macron has warned, suggesting that only his centrist ruling coalition can prevent such a scenario.

Speaking on Monday in an interview on the “Generation Do It Yourself” podcast, Macron argued that both the right-wing National Rally party and the left-wing France Unbowed party have espoused divisive policies that stoke tensions. The first round of the elections will be held on Sunday, while the second round is scheduled for July 7.

Macron labeled the opposition parties as extremist and claimed that their rhetoric would trigger more conflict. “When you are fed up and daily life is hard, you can be tempted to vote for the extremes that have quicker solutions,” he said. “But the solution will never be to reject others.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron.
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The French president dissolved the country’s parliament and called for snap elections earlier this month, after Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party trounced his ruling coalition in the European Parliament elections. He has vowed to stay on as president until his five-year term ends in 2027, but an opposition-controlled legislature and government would dramatically shift the balance of power in Paris.

National Rally’s response to France’s problems would be to “reduce people to their religion or their origin,” Macron said, which “pushes people toward civil war.” Likewise, he added, Jean-Luc Melenchon’s France Unbowed party also promotes civil war “because it reduces people to their religious or ethnic group.”

An Ipsos poll conducted last week showed that National Rally is favored by 35.5% of French voters. A leftist coalition that includes France Unbowed was pegged at 29.5%, while Macron’s alliance came in at 19.5%.

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Macron has acknowledged that voters made their desire for change clear in the European Parliament election. “Yes, the way we govern must change profoundly,” he noted in announcing the snap elections. However, he added, “The government to come, which will necessarily reflect your vote, will, I hope, bring together republicans of different persuasions who have shown courage in opposing the extremes.”

Macron and his allies have portrayed their opposition as dangerous and bigoted. “In our country, some people have hatred, impulses, desires to attack certain communities or certain French people,” Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Monday. He added, “Probably the victory of the extremes would release these impulses and could lead to violence.”

READ MORE: Farmers and police clash in Paris (VIDEO)

France has been plagued by political violence under Macron’s government, including ethnic riots and violent protests over an increase in the country’s retirement age.

June 25, 2024 at 11:17PM

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