Robert Harneis – TDO -An article in Politico.eu has revealed that the European Commission is seeking to influence the French presidential elections.
Quoting an unnamed ‘top Commission official’ the article stated: --
“Given that the French election could have vital consequences for the EU, the European Commission is not taking any chances. In an unusual move, it’s getting involved in French politics, albeit indirectly, with a fact-checking campaign to counter the anti-EU narrative coming from Le Pen’s National Front.
The EU-paid fact checkers rebut Le Pen attack lines such as the assertion that France would be better off without the euro or that the EU destroys French purchasing power.” The official is also quoted as saying “From the Commission’s point of view, success for Marine Le Pen is a disaster and an existential threat to the European project… We can survive a Brexit, but not a Frexit.”
The revelations come after comments in a press conference by Pierre Moscovici Commissioner for economic and financial affairs last week that “it’s a mistake” to not to fight anti-EU candidates such as Le Pen. “Europe is France’s future, and we need France to be a driving force. … I don’t even talk about those crazy ideas of France leaving Europe, which would both kill Europe and make France choke severely.”
The reaction of the French National Front was not long in coming. Marine Le Pen has put down questions in the European Parliament asking if the French government has consented to this interference in the French presidential election. She has also asked about the cost, duration and the number of officials involved in the ‘campaign’. She has also asked who within the EU has authorized the move and whether the information provided by the fact checkers will itself be checked.
In reality it is likely that the Commission will have employed freelance ‘private writers’ for this type of work rather than full time officials. They have done so in past EU parliamentary elections.
There is a whiff of panic about these revelations. The move has probably been generated by the success the FN is having in convincing the French public that its ideas and policies are far from ‘crazy’. A large number of economists including Nobel Prize winners have agreed that the Euro is more like a ball and chain than a lifeline for France and Europe – Germany accepted. So far it seems that Marine Le Pen has convinced the French electorate that her ideas are good but not to the extent of voting her into office to put them into effect. Older voters have unhappy memories of the French Franc. The Commission is clearly worried that with a month still to go before the final round on May 7th, she may be more successful.