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Gregory Kudish

Has the Front National become a reasonable party?

Analysts had seen it coming and the May 25th EP results confirmed it: Eurosceptic parties gained considerable representation in the European Parliament. In some countries, such as France, Denmark and the UK, these parties took the first position. The following days, mainstream media underlined the “political earthquake” Europe went through. In France, the Front National sent 24 MEPs to Brussels, a backlash for the political establishment. We have heard many things about the Eurosceptic parties. Far-right, fascists, extremists and radical are all part of the lexicon employed by many commentators to describe them. However, how true is this diagnosis? For the EU is composed of 28 countries, we look here at the Front National’s case. A change in style Founded in 1972 and run by Jean-Marie Le Pen up to 2011, the Front National is commonly seen to be the modern vehicle of France’s extremism. Indeed, the FN is known to have been the home, in its early years at least, to Nazi French collaborators, extremists nostalgic of the Vichy era, royalists and anti-republican folks. During the 1980s and 1990s, the requirements of political correctness forced the most radical elements of the FN to be silenced or expelled. Nevertheless, this did not refrain Jean-Marie Le Pen from coming out with regular provocations. We all remember his racist and anti-Semitic declarations, such as that the gas chambers are a “detail” of History, his preference to see “cows instead of Arabs” and, more recently, his intention to do a “fournée” with Patrick Bruel. In the past few days, Marine Le Pen, the current FN leader, took the opportunity to distance herself from her father. The FN removed from their website the video where Jean-Marie talks about the “fournée”, and Marine condemned her father’s “political fault”. On the European level, Marine Le Pen… Read More