Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Rally party in France, in a Breitbart News exclusive interview on Monday called on French president Emmanuel Macron to resign the presidency, but said he is not honest or bold enough to recognize his worldview has been defeated.
In the United Kingdom, Le Pen noted, David Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister when the British people voted to leave the European Union back in 2016. And in 2019, Le Pen noted, Prime Minister Theresa May announced her plans to resign after the Brexit Party defeated her party and all others in the U.K.’s European Parliament elections.
Le Pen told Breitbart News that Macron should “definitely” follow Cameron’s and May’s leads and resign from the French presidency. “But Macron has neither the honesty to do it, nor the panache to do it,” Le Pen said.
Even if Macron hangs onto the presidency and refuses to resign despite the stinging defeat in this weekend’s elections, Le Pen told Breitbart News that Macron must dissolve Parliament “immediately” and hold new elections as soon as possible.
“They should happen immediately because of yesterday’s results, but mostly because of Macron’s posture during the election where he was not the warrantor of the constitution but he became an active player in one of the parties,” Le Pen said in a more-than-20-minute phone interview on Monday in the wake of her party’s win over Macron’s in the European Union elections. “Once he engaged, it became his personal responsibility. He should take into consideration the results and call for elections.”
Le Pen’s National Rally, rebranded from the old National Front party her father founded that she took over, surged into first place in the European Union elections in France this weekend. Le Pen’s party won more than 24 percent of the vote compared with Macron’s Republic on the Move, which finished under 22 percent.
Speaking through a translator via phone for the exclusive interview on Monday, Le Pen explained the victory and why she believes her party won, while Macron’s was defeated.
“There are two main reasons: One is a European reason, and the other is on a national basis. Macron, in the early stages of the campaign, presented himself as the leader of the European Union that the French people do not want anymore,” Le Pen said. “The European Union despises the people. The European Union protects unfair competition specifically with products coming from China. And more than anything, the European Union is fully open to immigration to the European Union that will be submerged.”
“The second reason is a national reason. He established some policies, specifically on a fiscal level, that are particularly unjust and unfair to the popular classes, to the common person. For the past two years, he has displayed extreme arrogance and spite for the common people and the French people in general. What I and the list have been doing is explaining to the French people that the former divide between right and left wing does not exist anymore. And for the second time in a row, which means including the presidential election two years ago, the new divide is between the globalists and the nationalists. Twice in a row, this narrative that I have been explaining has become true and has been put in place by the vote of the French people.”
Yellow Vest protesters have been blaming Macron for losing the election. Le Pen said that while the Yellow Vest impact on the election is “difficult to assess,” the bigger point is that people feel disenfranchised and not represented properly in their government.
“It is difficult to assess but an essential part of our dysfunctional democracy in France which is the lack of representativity of the national assembly in France,” Le Pen said. “We are the first party in France with 24 percent yesterday in the European elections, and yet our party has six members in Parliament out of 577. When democracy is so badly treated, it only can create tensions that are most likely irreversible.”
Le Pen has been campaigning on the narrative that the battle is no longer between the traditional left and right, but instead between the top and bottom—a globalists versus nationalists fight—and the contrast offers voters in elections around the world a clear choice.
“Globalism is a post-national spirit,” Le Pen said when asked to explain the differences between globalism and nationalism. “It carries a notion that borders must disappear, including the protection that such borders usually brings to a nation. It carries the concept that overwhelming markets decide about everything. This concept about globalism is pushed by technocrats that are never elected and they are the typical type of person who runs things in Brussels in the European Union. The people that believe in nations—the nationalists—it’s the exact opposite. They believe that nations are the most efficient way to protect national security, prosperity, and identity to make sure that people will prosper in the nations.”
Le Pen, when asked by Breitbart News about how some critics of nationalism point to the dark history of nationalism in Europe to criticize it, shot down such criticisms as efforts to defame those who believe in the ideology.
“The objective of the globalists is to discredit anyone who defends a nation, and to shame them or to defame them,” Le Pen said. “It’s specifically because a nation is the ground where democracy applies, where the people can decide. They do know that the people in fact do not agree with globalism.”
France was not alone over the weekend in electing right-wing nationalists to power in the European elections. In Italy, for instance, Matteo Salvini’s League Party won big—and Le Pen says she looks forward to working with him in advancing the ideas of nationalism against globalism.
“For a very long time, our party has been working with Salvini, for example, but also with other parties in several countries in Europe to defend the idea of nations,” Le Pen fold Breitbart News. “We are allied, but we also are friends. This specifically worries the globalists because they see that tomorrow they are going to face a real political alternative. The European Union cannot stand the idea of change or an alternative because it is in itself a totalitarian institution.”
Le Pen said there is “great enthusiasm” across Europe because of an “unconditional love” that nationalists have been expressing for their countries.
“What is being done, what these parties are doing right now, is a source of great enthusiasm,” Le Pen said. “Never since the beginning of the European Union has the possibility of a Europe of nations been so close. This is the reason why globalists are so violent and aggressive toward Matteo Salvini. But we are carried by something they cannot touch, that they cannot reach: an unconditional love we feel for our country and for our people.”
She said she sees National Rally, her party in France that just won big over Macron’s globalists, as being in a “central place” in this new rising coalition.
“A central place—both delegations, the French and Italian, will be the largest national groups within this coalition at the European Parliament. Matteo Salvini and myself have always worked together very closely, even when we were both smaller on the political stage, and we have a way of seeing things and of working together,” Le Pen said when asked where she sees herself and the National Rally in the bigger picture.
While Italian and French nationalists are perhaps the closest in terms of working together, others from other countries—notably the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage in the United Kingdom and nationalists in Poland and Hungary as well—have been on the rise throughout Europe. Le Pen said that it is important for those who see the world similarly to work together to take on the globalists.
“What is going on in Europe right now is of historical magnitude,” Le Pen told Breitbart News. “Patriots from all countries must unite.”
But, she noted, it will be tougher for all nationalists to unite because of differences in opinion on some things—even though, she said, French nationalists have always defended core principles of nationalists in other nations.
“Getting together is a long trip,” Le Pen said. “In the European Parliament, we have always defended the idea that Hungary and Poland have a right to defend their people within the European Union. Same for the United Kingdom – we have always defended the idea that they were free to leave the European Union if they wanted to, as they expressed in their vote. We believe this is at the core of defending democracy. One does not negotiate with such essential notions.”
When asked if her vision aligns with that of President Donald Trump here in the United States, Le Pen said that if he believes in sovereignty, borders, and the right of a people to protect their national interest, then they do.
“If President Trump’s vision of the world is that nations are to overcome empires and take over the destiny and the future of their people, in that case we fully share his view,” Le Pen said. “If his vision is to believe that the people of a country have a right to vote in order to protect their country and to make sure that their country comes first, in that case yes I share his vision. Will we always share the same ideas? Will the interests of France and the United States always be aligned? This is a question, this is not sure, this is called diplomacy.”
She also said it was “definitely” easier to take on the globalists in Europe with Trump in the White House here in the United States.
“This was used against us during the European election,” Le Pen said. “The overwhelming power of the economy, the desire to defend popular classes, the middle class, our refusal of uncontrolled unrestrained immigration, the idea that protectionism is an idea to offer social benefits to countries that are importing goods, the belief that identity of the people has to be defended, are all definitely common points with President Trump.”