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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Obama's Endorsement of Macron Highlights 'Hypocrisy' of France's Neoliberalism

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    People walk past campaign posters of Emmanuel Macron (L), head of the political movement En Marche! (Onwards!), and Marine Le Pen (R), French National Front (FN) political party leader, two of the eleven candidates who run in the 2017 French presidential election, are seen in Paris, France, April 10, 2017

    Obama's Endorsement of Macron Highlights 'Hypocrisy' of France's Neoliberalism

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    Macron, Le Pen Heading to 2nd Round of French Presidential Election (76)

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    The run-off to determine the next President of France takes place on Sunday. The two contenders for the top French political spot are former socialist economic minister and investment banker Emmanuel Macron and the National Front's Marine Le Pen.

    Independent journalist Denis Rogatyuk told Radio Sputnik's Brian Becker that the election's outcome will be "a deciding factor in the future of France within the European Union."
    Le Pen, who probably is the most visible figure on the European far right, promises to not just abandon the euro and re-introduce French franc, but hopes to leave the EU altogether. Meanwhile, centrist Macron has openly supported the EU and its economic policies.
    "As we know, the two candidates represent almost polar opposite views on the question of the European Union and on the question of France being a part of it," Rogatyuk said during the Loud & Clear broadcast.
    But many say that after the surprise of Britain's Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump as US President, Sunday's election in France is not a guaranteed victory for the candidate who is favored by most moderates and the country's traditional political establishment. Former US President Barack Obama made a last-minute endorsement of Macron, saying in a video addressed to the French people that "the success of France matters to the entire world."
    However, Rogatyuk claims this ex-presidential stamp of approval was hardly surprising: "this is a highly predictable move by the former US president...Apart from Obama, Macron has also received endorsements and support from other major international figures which form part of what they call the extreme center powerhouse around the world," he said, pointing at the hypocrisy of the unsolicited foreign advice.
    "Macron has consistently tried to portray Le Pen as being in the pocket of Vladimir Putin...also banning some of the media such as Sputnik and Russia Today from being at the press conferences."
    "This...direct interference from Obama in support of Macron is certainly another example of the kind of hypocrisy which still plagues the neo-liberal establishment in France."
    The polls, which were remarkably accurate in the first round of voting, currently show Macron as a clear favorite over Le Pen, with a lead of as much as 20 percent.
    "The overall mood and feeling across all of the media and across the ruling elites in France is that on Sunday everything is being prepared to hand the presidency over to Emmanuel Macron so that he can continue on with the next five years of policies of austerity and neo-liberalism," Rogatyuk said.
    This year, neither of France's major parties - the Republicans nor the Socialists - made it through to the second round of voting, for the first time since the current voting system was introduced in 1965.
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