Tomorrow that is on April 23, 2017 is an important day for France and European Union, because the day marks the beginning of French elections.
While everything is still ambiguous because the candidates seem to have equal chances one can see that Marine Le Pen’s election does not seem unlikely at all. One can remember how to the surprise of everyone Trump was elected as the president of the USA. Even though, many will argue that France is a different country with different traditions. A country that embraced equality since 1789, and diversity since 1860’s, when French Revolution reshaped the ideology of the country and French empire gave citizenship to its colonial inhabitants respectively. It is evident now that Europe undergoes another wave of nationalism that rejects any influx of immigrants, the case of Brexit is a bright example.
France is part of that nationalistic tendency that comes to reevaluate the existing values of the whole continent save for Germany. Perhaps today is not the best day to analyze some of the consequences of a possible separation of France and European Union, but certainly it is a most fitting day for trying to predict who will be the next president of France.
A recently published poll shows that Emmanuel Macron, a pro EU candidate, received 23% of the votes, Marine Le Pen 22% and Francois Fillon 20%. This preliminary poll promises a tight struggle between the candidates, and of course interesting outcomes.
An article published in the Economist magazine on March 4, 2017 bears the title “The Vote that could wreck the European Union.” Its content tries to construct the present situation of France by using history, and of course having in mind the fact that before 1900’s France was a stage for incessant revolutions and changes. Could it be that France starts another revolution this time to the detriment of not only herself but also a whole chain of European countries?
Polls suggest that Marine Le Pen will lose during the second round of elections and eventually won’t be able to clinch presidency. Nevertheless, this is just a statement and its wording after the elections.
Only two days ago, a gunman shot a policeman in Paris and this event may become a focal cause in changing French people’s attitude towards immigrants just before the elections. Some may regard it a s trivial event but after all this attack affected the psychology of French people and we are yet to see its consequences.
The words of French historian Fernand Braudel seem very relevant for this situation: “A Europe of people is a fine slogan but it is yet to come.” Has the time come for the realization of this slogan or not yet? This is the question that will soon find its answer.