As the final round of the French presidential election draws near, investors are calm and the EURO continues its rise in a sign of confidence that the centrist and business friendly candidate Macron will become the next President of France.
The campaign has been historic in the sense that no establishment candidate made it to the second round, as Fillon didn’t obtain enough votes. The nightmare scenario of Nazi /anti-Semite, anti-EU Marine Le Pen, and wild card/communist Melenchon making it to the second round was avoided, and on May 7th, Emmanuel Macron is expected to receive most of the votes from the other candidates and seal the win.
The last debate which occurred live on French TV this week was won by Macron according to most polls. Even Le Pen’s own father was critical of her claiming she had “lack of stature”, granted he probably still holds a grudge against her for kicking him out of the Front National party.
In my opinion Le Pen made some horrible mistakes in the debate. She spent a lot of energy and time depicting German chancellor Angela Merkel as a boogieman, and associating Macron with her. However, Merkel actually has a favorable standing among French people, and continuously bringing her up in the discussions yielded no benefit for Le Pen.
Another grave mistake was being unclear about her stance on the euro. She seemed confused and Macron was smart enough to point this out. First she said she wants to take France out of the Euro and back to the Franc, then she said she wants to keep both currencies. She was incredibly unclear and misleading on this issue.
She also kept reiterating Brexit and how great the UK is doing after leaving. However, the reality is they haven’t left yet and the real consequences will only come out after around two years when they will de facto leave the Union that provides so many economic and trade benefits. In fact only yesterday JP Morgan announced they will move sizable staff to Dublin and Frankfurt. Today Goldman Sachs made a similar announcement.
Although Macron was viewed as the winner of the debate, he wasn’t short of mistakes -albeit minor ones – either. I would say he called her ‘stupid” too many times. It came across a little chauvinist and could have been viewed as male bullying especially by female voters. He also should have mentioned her embarrassing plagiarism scandal that had just occurred as well as her mishandling of EU funds.
I also think he wasn’t vocal in rebuffing certain allegations she made against him. She kept accusing him of being just another establishment candidate due to the fact that the current president Francois Hollande, along with most other candidates who lost in the first round proclaimed their support for Macron. Macron should have explained those endorsements came not because he is an establishment candidate, but as a result of the fear of her becoming president, as she would be a liability for France. The establishment is behind him because they are petrified of her, with her plans to drive France off a cliff.
When the discussion moved towards the topic of Russia and Putin, he should have mentioned her close ties with the criminal Putin regime, which has their ICBMs, aimed at France, and the many cyber attacks which the Macron campaign had to thwart.
While most polls indicate a Macron victory, it is ultimately the French people who will decide and choose a fate that will affect all of Europe and the EU. The destiny of other Europeans will be so affected by this outcome, and all they can do is sit on the sidelines and watch.
Dr.Phil Mansouri is an Austrian American political analyst with a PhD in political science from the university of Vienna.
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