Here’s Why “Frexit” Might Be More Likely Than You Think

With France’s elections right around the corner, and the rise of the National Front party, many are wondering if the country will follow Britain’s example.

The European Union has been dealing with a host of problems for the past few years. It has caused many to question the need for the governmental organization. This is especially true of the people of France. These issues have had a tremendous impact on France, one of the EU’s founding members.

When Britain decided to withdraw from the European Union earlier this year, it shocked the rest of the world. As the EU’s problems have continued to intensify,  we have seen the rise of various right-wing populist movements.

With its new elections right around the corner, many are wondering what France’s new government will mean for the country’s ties to the European Union.

The Rise Of The National Front Party

France is dealing with many of the sames problems that other European countries are facing. Rapid expansion, slow economy, pressure from Russia, and massive immigration are all contributing to France’s current woes. The fact that the current government has been largely ineffective in solving these problems has pushed the French to look to alternatives.

Recently, The National Front party has been catapulted to the forefront of France’s political scene. It’s leader, Marine Le Pen has emerged as a frontrunner in France’s presidential race.

So has support for the National Front and its leader, Marine Le Pen, who has emerged as a serious contender in France’s presidential race. The National Front party has been steadily gaining in popularity since Marine Le Pen replaced her father as the leader of the party in 2011. Now, the party is poised to take the French presidency.

Can “Frexit” Really Happen?

This is a question that has many people watching the French elections. Even though France won’t be holding its elections until April 2017, anticipation is high all over the continent.

Earlier this year, it seemed impossible. But with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, it’s starting to seem like more of a possibility. Le Pen’s softening of some of the National Front’s rougher edges has made the party more palatable to a French citizenry that has grown increasingly dissatisfied with their government.

Ms. Le Pen has already stated that she wants France to opt out of the Euro currency. If elected, she will hold a popular referendum similar to Britain’s. It would determine whether or not France will stay in the European Union. This is something that mainstream French politicians are terrified of.

French Opposition To The EU

If Frexit does happen, there will be a few different reasons for it. There are many who believe France would be better off leaving the EU. They blame the EU for the many problems the country is enduring.

One of the biggest problems is immigration. As a part of the EU, France is required to take in a certain number of Syrian refugees and other immigrants from Middle Eastern nations. In the name of tolerance, France has given several concessions to Muslim immigrants.

This has resulted in numerous terrorist attacks on French soil. While most of the Muslim immigrants are peaceful, there are a disquieting number of immigrants who have been radicalized.

Pascal Verrelle, the mayor of Le Luc, and a member of the National Front party is deeply concerned about the impact of radical Islam on his country. In an interview with the New York Times, he describes what he saw in a French prison.

“When I saw the prayers in the corridors of the prison, and others hiding their crosses, I knew we were lost.”

Verrelle also voiced his concern about ISIS. He fears that France is “bringing in a Trojan horse times 1,000.” It’s legitimate fears such as these that are pushing the French towards the National Front party.

Conclusion

We don’t know what’s going to happen in France’s elections. But we do know that there is change sweeping Europe. Brexit was the symptom of a larger issue; an issue that the majority of European countries are facing.

The problems that these countries are trying to solve are breeding a marked resentment of their current governments. They are growing weary at the perceived incompetence of their mainstream politicians. Will the Frexit happen? Only time will tell.

 

Source: New York Times