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How did France get here?

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Graffiti on Le Pen poster in the French elections

The second round of the French presidential election will see a fascist run off against a neoliberal centrist. Jad Bouharoun gives context to this bleak battle.

Neoliberal investment banker Emmanuel Macron will face off against fascist Front National’s (FN) Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election on 7 May. Radical veteran Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s insurgent left campaign attracted a huge audience and a significant share of the vote, but this didn’t prove enough to secure him a place in the second round.

Solidarity against racism

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The electoral success of far-right parties presents a challenge for the left. Brian Richardson reports from a key anti-fascist conference in Greece that is beginning to coordinate a continent-wide strategy to halt them.

The headline story in this May’s European Parliament elections was the success of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. Marine Le Pen’s party topped the poll with 24.85 percent which translated into 24 seats.

It is now the fourth biggest party in the parliament. That success was subsequently consolidated with the capture of two seats in the French Senate elections in September. The outright fascist Jobbik party took second place in the Hungarian elections with 14.6 percent of the vote, winning three seats.

FN: A warning from France

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The murder of an anti-fascist activist has galvanised the campaign to stop the Front National, but the strategy of the movement falls short of what is needed.

The death of Clement Meric at the hands of a Nazi thug on 5 June was a rude awakening to many in France. While attacks on Muslims, LGBT people and left wing activists have been numerous in recent years, they have remained a concern only for a limited number among the politically active.

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