How Macron became the far-right's useful idiot


By playing at being the sorcerer's apprentice and pitching himself as the only acceptable option between the radical Left and the far-right, Emmanuel Macron has allowed Rassemblement National to become a major force within the National Assembly, argues Ellen Salvi in this opinion article. Rather than fighting against the racist and xenophobic ideas of Marine Le Pen's party, she writes, he ended up giving them a helping hand out of sheer political cynicism. Following Sunday's legislative elections the far-right party will have 89 MPs in the new National Assembly.

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The far-right can be grateful to Emmanuel Macron. Thanks to the head of state the Rassemblement National party, whose candidate this year reached the second round of the presidential election for the second time, has now won dozens of seats – 89 to be precise – at the National Assembly. Faced with the presidential coalition Ensemble and the broad left and environmental alliance NUPES (Nouvelle Union Populaire Écologique et Sociale), the far-right party has become one of the main opposition groups at the Assembly without even needing to run a campaign. It was happy just to benefit from the president's cynicism.