Marine Le Pen

Willful Ignorance Will Not Save Europe

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    France will hold presidential elections in April and May. Anti-E.U. politician, Marine Le Pen, looks increasingly likely to get to the final round, at which stage she is predicted to lose. But what happens if she wins?

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Despite corruption scandals for two for them, presidential candidates François Fillon, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are still expected to gain the most votes in the first round of voting in April.
    • At that stage, the top two candidates go forward into a final round of voting. Ms. Le Pen is expected to make it to this round but at this stage, most pundits say she would be defeated.
    • The French elections remain hard to predict though, with some polls showing that about half of French voters are still undecided.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Marine Le Pen, French National Front  political party leader and Member of the European Parliament takes part in a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Always the bridesmaid? French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, of the right wing Front National. Source: Reuters

If Marine Le Pen were to become the French president, it would be a catastrophe for everyone who wants an open and functioning Europe. Although, admittedly, it is a catastrophe we could have seen coming. The date for the second, decisive round of the French presidential election, May 7, has been set for months. For many months now, those governing in Berlin and Brussels have been able to follow how the head of the Front National has been coming closer, step by measured step, to her goal, the top seat in the Élysée Palace.

Which begs the question: what will the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her fellow leaders do if the worst was to happen. What are their plans for the day after?

Anyone listening in, along the hallways of ministries in Berlin and Brussels and in business and government circles will make an astounding discovery. Everyone is spending their days anxious. Whether minister or diplomat, banker or European commissioner, they are hoping and fearing, trying not to think about it and wringing their hands. There is just one thing they are obviously not doing: They are not preparing for the worst.

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