Spread the love

It’s a clear attempt to shift her image from extreme right to centre right – but is it convincing? ‘The change is more apparent than real,’ says Lévy. ‘When Éric Zemmour set up his party [in 2021] and directly opposed her, she said, in substance, “That party is full of Nazis; I know, because before moving over to Zemmour, they were with me.” In other words, up until a few months ago, there were Nazis in her own entourage. If there has been any change, it must have been very recently indeed.’

Lévy reminds that history proves her ties to Putin are close. ‘Le Pen is like Trump. She has always admired Putin. She has always seen him as a defender of the Europe of nation states, conservative, in her mould. She chose her side in 2014, at the moment of the annexation of Crimea and the first dismantling of Ukraine. Moreover it was a Russian bank that extended her the loan that the French banks were refusing.’

Erik Emptaz of Le Canard Enchainé agrees. ‘By targeting Pécresse and Zemmour as priorities, [Macron] has taken his eye off Le Pen,’ he wrote in the latest edition. ‘She has taken advantage of this to ‘recentre’ herself. In styling herself as the competitor championing purchasing power, she has created a lot of smoke to hide her Putinophile past… [But] her agenda remains extremely right wing.’