German, Spanish and Portuguese leaders urge the French to vote Macron | French presidential election 2022
German, Spanish and Portuguese leaders publicly backed Emmanuel Macron in the second round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, calling on French voters to support “freedom, democracy and a stronger Europe” – and to tackle the Brexit.
In a highly unusual intervention in another country’s elections, Olaf Scholz, Pedro Sánchez and António Costa said in an editorial column in the major French daily Le Monde that the second round of France was “for us, not an election like the others”.
Although they did not mention Macron or his far-right rival Marine Le Pen by name, the centre-left German Chancellor and the Spanish and Portuguese prime ministers said they “hope” the outgoing president’s vision on “France, Europe and the world” would prevail.
The vote was a choice between “a Democratic candidate who believes that France is stronger in a powerful and autonomous EU, and a far-right candidate who openly sides with those who attack our freedom and our democracy”, they said. they stated.
The EU needs a France that remains “at the heart of the European project”, they said, continuing to “defend our common values” in a “strong and generous Europe”. “We hope that the citizens of the French Republic will choose him.”
A longtime Eurosceptic, Le Pen, who according to polls trails Macron two days before the decisive vote, abandoned his promise in the previous election to abandon the euro and leave the EU. But much of his current platform would involve breaking EU and single market rules, experts say, leading to a “Frexit in all but name”.
In an inquiry into Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, the three leaders said ‘taking back control’ had been ‘the Brexiteers’ promise’, but that Brexit had instead ‘disrupted transport chains and supplies to Great Britain, caused a collapse in its foreign trade and saw inflation rates generally higher than in the euro zone.
Those in the UK who were meant to be “the primary beneficiaries of leaving the EU – workers, young people and the vulnerable – are those who have ultimately suffered the most”, they wrote.
The leaders said the election result was crucial “for France and for all of us in Europe” because of Russia’s war against Ukraine. “Populists and the far right in all our countries have made Vladimir Putin an ideological and political role model,” they wrote, referring to Le Pen’s past admiring remarks about the Russian president.
A spokeswoman for Le Pen’s National Rally said outside interventions in elections were rarely welcomed by voters or effective, adding that there were other EU governments who shared her vision of a ” alliance of sovereign nations”.
An emotional appeal by Barack Obama to British voters not to back Brexit has been widely criticized by Leave campaigners, with some suggesting the then US president’s remarks may have actually helped their cause.