For the first time, the two historic parties in France, Republicans and Socialists, will not be present at the second round of the Presidential Elections. Emmanuel Macron of the brand new European movement “En Marche” and Marine Le Pen, of the Anti-European, and Philo-Russian “Front National” will compete for the run-off election on the 7th of May. After England, Austria, and Holland, this will beone of many populist clashes where apart from the election of local governments, the European Union will also be called into question.
For Marine Le Pen (21%) it will be difficult, even if not impossible, to improve. Emmanuel Macron managed 24% and was immediately supported by Fillon (20%), the candidate of the right Republican Party, Hamon, and by President Holland of the dying Socialist Party (6,35%). What is difficult to forecast is the direction of the votes of the extreme left of Mélenenchon (19%) who could paradoxically converge into the extreme right because of the anti-European and anti-establishment vision. In addition, Marine Le Pen will try to gain support among the Gaullists in the Republican rows of minor candidates like Dupont-Aignan, Asselineau, and Cheminade. Le Pen is also supported by the communities of the extra-European French territories, and paradoxically even by the French Islamic communities which fear forms of marginalization because of the resurgence of the terrorist attacks of Islamic extremism. However, according to the surveys, Emmanuel Macron is clearly the favourite to become the President of France.
Without any doubt, this result will show the need for change at the top-level of institutional power. People do not trust traditional parties, and try to substitute them by new forms and new political movements. Unlike the US-Presidency and Brexit, this time Social Media, Facebook in particular, have not managed to tarnish over the intelligence of European citizens who only partially followed populists’ fake news. However, we need valid alternatives to the existing power. In France, the autonomist Macron has been able to catalyse this search, and this shows that citizens still trust Europe. However, this is the last chance for the European Union to continue to exist. The European people will not accept this institution, if it does not consider their requirements. In particular, those who live in the countryside and in rural areas feel more abandoned than the citizens of urban areas. It is necessary to protect work and welfare in those peripheral territories where right-wing extremism rises and promises the exit from the European Union. To make an example about how different the urban electorate is from the rural one: in Paris Le Pen comes last, and obtains only 4,99 % of votes.
The European Union has also to act united in the field of foreign and domestic politics, and has to reach forms of government, detached from the financial mechanisms. Europeans are primarily concerned with security. It will be necessary to identify a system of defence and police. We cannot accept the development of internal terrorist networks. In France, according to the authorities, more than 16.000 Muslims are potentially radicalised. In Germany, the number of Islamic extremists is 1.600, and 570 of them are able to commit a terrorist attack. The mobilisation of Swedish jihadists to reach the rows of the Islamic State has been of approximately 300, one of the biggest in Europe. In many countries, a network of mosques and Islamic organizations is connected with international jihadist organisations.
These days, before the second round, the election campaigns will be inflamed. The attack of the Champs-Elysées is just the last of a series of attacks having been registered in Europe since March 2016. And it has been increasingly evident that its objective is not destructive, but demonstrative. The terrorist attack wants to raise insecurity and fear in the population by pursuing the only goal to destabilize the government, democracy, and peace we have been living for a long time thanks to the European Union.
Islamic extremists, ISIS, the Islamic State or DAESH, only want the clash with the West, the Jihad, the Holy War, and do not have other aims than to try to cause an implosion within the European Union. And to do this, they support the enemies of Europe who want to destroy it. Besides the electoral support by the French Islamic communities also the Islamic extremists, with their demonstrative terrorist attacks, paradoxically produce an election campaign in favour of the anti-European extremism of Marine Le Pen. Therefore, during the next weeks, the risk of terrorist attacks in France will be very high.
However, you have to raise awareness that nationalist and populist movements are not helpful at all, because they only contribute to glorify hatred, social and cultural discrepancy, and the fragmentation of the European society. Europe has only one solution: it has to unify against Islamic extremism and not to split into small states. Since these small states would be easily manipulated and blackmailed by military means, by Islamic forces in the Middle East who still have the petrol as a mean of power, and by the super powers and in particular by Russia which has already tried to enter European politics by agreements and financial supports to movements like Le Pen, Grillo, Salvini, Farage or to pro-Russian associations.
We have to consider that to struggle against terrorism, in a fluid society like the globalised society, where our freedom is also the freedom guaranteed by the right of privacy and movement, it is necessary to eradicate the preconditions of terrorism. Let us not to forget that once started, the whirlwinds of violence become unstoppable, and that in general they are always provoked by war and suffering of the population. And with the time this suffering comes back, like a boomerang, to all who cast the first stone, and they are the Western States.
by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles, Social News, 24 April 2017, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik.