Status: 04/21/2022 4:41 p.m
It is an unusual appeal shortly before the runoff election in France: Chancellor Scholz and his counterparts from Spain and Portugal use a newspaper article to call on voters to vote for Macron.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his counterparts from Spain and Portugal, Pedro Sánchez and António Costa, have implicitly called on the French to vote for Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. The incumbent will face right-wing populist Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election.
“French citizens face a critical choice – for France and for each and every one of us in Europe,” reads a guest article published in Le Monde newspaper. “It’s a choice between a democratic candidate who knows that France’s strength is increasing in a powerful and independent European Union. And a candidate from the extreme right who openly shows solidarity with those who are attacking our freedom and democracy,” it said . The names of Macron and Le Pen remain anonymous.
Russia’s war is reason for election call
The Europeans need France on their side, “a France that stands up for justice and against undemocratic leaders like Putin,” emphasized the heads of government. This France is on the ballot paper on Sunday. “We hope that the citizens of the French Republic will vote for it,” said Scholz, Sánchez and Costa.
The three Social Democrats justified their call for elections with Russia’s “brutal war of aggression” in Ukraine. He initiated a “change in era” and “broke the most fundamental rule of the European peace order”: that borders may no longer be moved by force. “Putin’s war is also directed against the values that France and our countries stand for: democracy, sovereignty, freedom and the rule of law,” the article said.
Le Pen under fire for Russian ties
Populists and right-wing extremists nevertheless “chosen Putin as their ideological and political role model and willingly repeated his chauvinistic demands.” They would have spread hate speech against minorities and “defended his goal of national uniformity”. “We shouldn’t forget that, no matter how hard these politicians try to distance themselves from the Russian aggressor,” write Scholz, Sánchez and Costa.
Le Pen has been criticized during the election campaign for her ties to Russia. Putin received her in the Kremlin in 2017, and a Russian-Czech bank granted her party a loan of nine million euros. Le Pen says no other European bank was willing to lend her. The party continues to repay the loan, which does not create any dependency. Macron had sharply attacked her in a television duel on Wednesday evening. “When you talk about Russia, you’re talking about your financier,” he said.