Eric Zemmour: He wants to overtake Le Pen on the right

Status: 11/30/2021 4:35 p.m.

Son of Algerian Jews, publicist convicted of incitement to hatred, now presidential candidate: Eric Zemmour is not only a talk of rights in France. For the government, he’s a Trump imitation.

By Julia Borutta, ARD-Studio Paris

Eric Zemmour’s campaign strategists have staged a dramatic countdown to the sounds of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Flickering light in changing colors should increase the tension built up over weeks one last time before it finally appears in the picture. In a seemingly old-fashioned library, Eric Zemmour sits at the table in front of a microphone and reads his threatening inventory of a formerly large country in decline: “Dear compatriots, have been gripped and crushed for years, a strange and piercing feeling, a feeling of dispossession, haunts you. “

The scene is reminiscent of the picture of General De Gaulle in front of the microphone, as he called on the French to resist the Germans from London in 1940. Zemmour sees the French facing another enemy – alleged foreign infiltration: “You haven’t moved and yet you feel like you are no longer at home. You haven’t left your country, but it’s as if your country has left you . You feel strange in your own country. You are in inner exile. “

His goal: to take power from minorities

Scenes of violence, addiction and brutality underline Zemmour’s remarks: “The right and the left have concealed from them how deep we have already descended, have concealed from them that we are already being replaced as a people,” he claims. Caricature-like are images of a long-gone France that was big, strong, beautiful and peaceful – the country that Zemmour wants to resurrect.

How exactly, he doesn’t answer that in his election campaign opening video. He leaves it at general statements: He wants to take power from the minorities that control the majority of society.

Zemmour, the son of Jewish, Algerian immigrants and longtime journalist for the conservative daily “Le Figaro”, surprised everyone with his extraordinary announcement of his candidacy. Choosing the route through a Youtube channel is modern; the staging of his lecture, on the other hand, is conservative, the visual background of his statements striking.

“All of this is clearly aimed at the first ballot”, analyzes Bernard Sananès from the polling institute ELABE. “After the recent stagnating polls, he wants to mobilize voters – either from the right-wing candidate, Marine Le Pen, or from the conservative Republicans.”

Stinky fingers instead of willingness to talk

Because only if he can initially unite the most votes in the right-wing camp will he have a chance of moving into the second round of the presidential elections. Whether the right-wing nationalist Zemmour, convicted of hatred of the people, can also win over moderate conservatives will also depend on how Zemmour proceeds.

Most recently he slipped behind his right wing competitor Marine Le Pen in the polls. In London and Geneva he was denied appearances in halls that were already booked. And rumors that Sahara Knafo, the more than 30 years younger partner and campaign manager of the married father of three, is likely to scare off the Catholic electorate.

On his most recent visit to Marseille, he did not speak to anyone; instead, he also showed the finger to a demonstrator who had shown him the middle finger.

Happening in Marseille: A woman shows Eric Zemmour the middle finger …

Image: AFP

… which promptly sends a return coach.

Image: AFP

“Trump ordered from Wish”

A welcome derailment for government spokesman Gabriel Attal: “If you have political responsibility and want to become President of the French Republic, you don’t give people the finger,” he said. Zemmour describes himself again and again as the French Donald Trump – “But he is at best a Trump who was ordered on the cheap platform Wish.”

Now it will be important for Zemmour to work out a program that includes issues other than immigration and security and that offers a positive vision of the future of France. And that he brings together the sponsorships required for an official candidacy from a total of 500 elected representatives.

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