The revelation that one of the main advisers to the French president, Emmanuel Macron, held a meeting with Marion Maréchal, niece of Marine Le Pen and a key figure of the extreme right, has opened sores outside and within the macronism when little more than a year for the presidential elections that, at least for the moment, are emerging as a new confrontation between Macron and the leader of the National Regrouping (former National Front).
The meeting between Maréchal and Bruno Roger-Petit, officially charged with “issues of memory” of the Elysee but above all one of the trusted men of Macron, took place in mid-October in a Parisian restaurant, revealed the newspaper Le Monde the Sunday.
Although he officially left politics in 2017 by resigning his seat by the FN founded by his grandfather and father of the current leader of the formation, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the name of Marion Maréchal (he has also abandoned the surname Le Pen) continues resounding loudly in France, where many see her as her aunt’s main rival, and critic.
Also in Spain, where it has partnered with Vox to launch the Higher Institute of Sociology, Economics and Politics (ISSEP), an affiliate of his school in Lyon that seeks to train the future elites of the toughest conservatism.
It does not matter that it has not even transcended what they talked about —Roger-Petit has limited himself to saying that he wanted “to know what he has to say and if it has an impact on the state of (public) opinion, which is not the case” and Maréchal only says which he accepted out of “curiosity”
Nor that both the Elysee and Macron’s adviser, who as such should theoretically be able to probe the entire political spectrum, have stressed that it was an invitation “in a personal capacity.” The French left, but more strikingly also a part of the reluctant macronism to the increasingly frequent nods of the president to the right, has not hesitated to criticize the appointment.
“There are people who are not ‘probed’ in a ‘personal capacity’. They are being fought collectively ”, reacted on Twitter Astrid Panosyan, co-founder of the En Marcha! Movement, the parent company of the current Macronist party, La República En Marcha (LREM).
His message has received a “like” from Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs , and has been retweeted by the former head of the Macronist deputies, Gilles Le Gendre. “Slippery ground,” warned Deputy Matthieu Orphelin, one of the first deserters from macronism – which has led him this year to lose his absolute majority in the chamber – disenchanted with the conservative turn of the Government.
Conservative figures such as the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, now prevail there, which has not hesitated to appropriate ultra-right terms on occasions, such as when this summer it denounced the “robbery” of a part of society.
Macron himself has caused irritation in their ranks over decisions such as giving an interview to the right-wing identity magazine, Valeurs Actuelles , although he has also raised blisters on the right by using, in recent interviews, the term “police violence” and admit that there is “white privilege” in society.
“With the extreme right there is no discussion and there is no compromise. They fight it ”, agrees the Vice President of the National Assembly, Hugues Ranson, who recalled the famous explanation of Jacques Chirac, in 2002, of why he refused to participate in a debate with Jean-Marie Le Penwhen the then leader of the FN went, surprisingly, to the second round of the presidential elections.
“I cannot accept the trivialization of intolerance and hatred,” Ranson quotes Chirac, who managed to defeat Le Pen Sr. thanks to the massive support – he obtained 82.2% of the votes – from the French frightened to see him go so far , for the first time in history, to the far-right party.
Fifteen years later, it was his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who reached the electoral final. Although she lost against Macron, she obtained the not inconsiderable support of ten million votes and is once again perceived as the president’s main rival in 2022, in a political landscape where the once main left-wing parties, the Socialist, and the right-wing Republicans, They haven’t even found a leader for the big date at the polls yet.