Marine Le Pen, France’s right wing populist leader, has slammed her country’s “submission to Germany” after Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, vowed to “ensure” Ms. Le Pen’s party is kept out of power.
The Chancellor’s intervention, “shows interference in our internal affairs as outrageous and humiliating for France, and marks a cruel truth: that of submission of our country to Germany”, said the leader of the Front National in a statement today.
Ms. Le Pen was responding to comments made by the German Chancellor last Friday, when she told students at the French high school in Berlin that the populist right was a phenomenon that “we have to deal with”.
“I will make my contribution towards ensuring that other political forces are stronger than the National Front”, she ranted according AFP.
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) May 3, 2016
In her statement, Ms. Le Pen predicted that the French government “will not protest against this blatant interference by the leader of the German government in the democratic affairs of the French people”.
She argued that establishment parties, who had worked to advance German and European Union ends in France for “years”, would use the foreign intervention to uphold the status quo and their own power, rather than advance the will of the French people.
“Worse, it is even highly probable that the political parties of the system will welcome this reinforcement by Merkel, as a reward to those who have for years worked to defend German interests in Europe instead of French interests.
“… The National Front is the only movement to defend the interests of the French people”, she added.
Ms. Le Pen’s Front National are commonly dismissed as “far right”. However, in French local elections in December, they topped the popular vote in six of 13 regions.
Only after the after the Socialist and Centre-right parties colluded in the second round of voting, instructing candidates to pull out to concentrate the anti-Front National vote, did they fail to win a single region.
In her rant on Friday, Mr. Merkel appeared to advocate a similar establishment conspiracy to keep Germany’s rising Eurosceptic and populist force from power.
“We see that there are political forces with very negative rhetoric on Europe,” she said, referring to the German populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Adding: “We have to ensure that Europe is a project that people understand,” she said, adding that a key message that has to hit home is that “it’s better with Europe than without Europe”.
Formed only three years ago, AfD is now Germany’s third strongest party according to a recent opinion poll.