The headlines scream: “Political tsunami,” “earthquake” and “big bang.”
European elections may have taken place in 28 different countries, but the results in just one of them proved the big story of the night. Who and what are we talking about? Marine Le Pen’s Front National extreme-right party came top in France’s European elections, with 25.41% of the vote. This is a historic achievement for the 46-year-old daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s founder.
And if the newspaper headlines are to be believed, the consequences of that particular vote are going to be felt for a very long time, both nationally and internationally.
Listening to French radio and television through the night, there was no doubt that France’s whole political class and commentators had never thought such thing possible, at least not on that scale. Some even succumbed to slight hysteria, live on French airwaves, including Laurent Wauquiez, France’s former minister for European affairs, who advocated, quite simply, a return to the EU made only of its founding member states — France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium — plus Spain. From a Union of 28 countries back to a “hardcore” of seven.
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