Category: France
PCRF: Emmanuel Macron embodies the reactionary values of the bourgeoisie / The only alternative is the creation of a strong Communist Party

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

PCRF: Emmanuel Macron embodies the reactionary values of the bourgeoisie / The only alternative is the creation of a strong Communist Party
Emmanuel Macron is the new President of France. In the second round of the french presidential elections the candidate of the “En Marche!” movement gained 66% of the votes, while Marine Le Pen, of the far-right “Front National” received 34%. Macron and Le Pen represent the two sides of the same coin: they are both parts of the capitalist system, expressing the aspirations and goals of different sections of the french capital. 
In a statement regarding the result of the elections, the Parti Communiste Révolutionnaire de France (Revolutionary Communist Party of France-PCRF) characterizes Emmanuel Macron as “the reactionary continuity at the Elysee” and “a man of the french bourgeoisie”
According to the PCRF the result of the elections “is the result of a formidable mobilization of the propaganda and communication apparatus of monopoly capital”. Under these conditions”, writes the PCRF, “our Party welcomes all those who refused to endorse the masquerade Le Pen-Macron by abstaining, voting white or none!”
As the PCRF stresses out, Emmanuel Macron, whose program, like his career, embodies the reactionary values ​​of the bourgeoisie” is is part of the warlike continuity of French imperialism, made up of interference and military aggression, hidden behind a so-called “defense of freedom”
In other parts of the statement, the Parti Communiste Révolutionnaire de France points out: On Friday, May 5, the National Elections Commission intervened to prevent the press from reporting WikiLeaks information about emails from the Macron team. Among other things, it was reported that his campaign was financed by Rothschild, Soros and Goldman Sachs up to 5.5 million euros, that Bernard Arnault would have made a substantial contribution and that he would have received the multiform support of Merkel, Obama, Justin Trudeau, Junker, Tsipras, Matteo Renzi, Bernard-Henri Levy…”.
The PCRF sets as a priority to organize the struggle against the attacks that are prepared against the Labor Code and the other measures of the Macron-Fillon-Gattaz program” and calls the french working people for mobilization against Macron’s projects, the war policy on Syria, as well as against the EU and NATO, adding that it would be suicidal to leave the field [of opposition and struggle] to the Lepenist reaction!”.
The PCRF concludes by stressing out that the Party will present candidates [in June’s general elections] which will bear the idea that, the alternative, the only one, is the construction of a large Communist Party that is capable to help the labor class and the masses in order to realize the historical role of get over with Le Pen and Macron, the pain, the misery, the absence of democracy, the war threat, the capitalism in order to construct the socialism towards the communism”
Macron’s New Orwellian Era
| May 9, 2017 | 8:34 pm | France, political struggle | No comments
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, speaks during a news conference to unveil his fully budgeted manifesto, named a contract with the nation, in Paris, France, March 2, 2017

Macron’s New Orwellian Era

© REUTERS/ Christian Hartmann

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Finian Cunningham

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron heralds a new era of politics alright. In an eerily sinister way. This is a huge setback for democracy, not, as the Western media would portray, some kind of victory for the people.

Headlines and commentaries were gushing this week on the election of Macron as the eighth president of France’s Fifth Republic. It was supposed to be a victory for European “enlightenment values” and the defeat of nasty populism.

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a meeting in Reims, France March 17, 2017
© REUTERS/ Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

Macron, we are told with benign tones, is a “centrist,” a “liberal,” an “outsider” who will bring “long-overdue change” to the political establishment in France and across Europe.The Euronews outlet ran the headline: “Macron victory heralds new political era in France.” The spin of newness was contradicted by the accompanying photograph of Macron being patronizingly flanked by outgoing president Francois Hollande.

Hollande is the epitome of the French establishment, who ends his career as the most despised president in the modern history of France. Hollande and his political cronies destroyed the Socialist Party (PS) with their servile embrace of neoliberal capitalist policies. Macron was one of those cronies who was appointed economy minister by Hollande in 2014 without ever having served in elected office before. It was Macron who designed the much-hated employment “reforms,” gutting employee rights and giving bosses greater powers to hire and fire.

And as the new president, Macron is promising to drive through even more draconian measures undermining workers and trade unions.

Members of Hollande’s discredited government, like former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, are clambering to get onboard with Macron.

This week Valls declared in sniveling fashion on public radio that the Socialist Party was “dead” and that he was ready to join Macron’s Republique En Marche movement. In a twisted way, Valls is right. The French Socialist Party is long dead, killed off at the hands of people like him, Macron and Hollande who turned it into a rubber-stamp for global capitalism.The 39-year-old Macron, who worked in high finance as an investment banker at Rothschild, is lining up France for a full-frontal class war in which the working majority will be assailed by the ruling elite. He is promising to slash public spending by €60 billion over the next five years and to axe 120,000 state-sector jobs. Corporation tax is also slated for a massive cut under Macron.

All the policies that the Hollande government tried to ram through in the service of global capital will now be ramped up with even more zeal by former banker Macron. He is aiming to turn France into a low-wage poverty “gig economy” as has been created in Britain and the US – and the oligarchy couldn’t be happier than to see this “golden boy” get his hands on the levers of power.

A good question is: so why did people vote for Macron? He won 66 percent of the popular vote in the second round against Marine Le Pen of the National Front, who pulled in 34 percent. A major part of the answer is the intense media marketing behind Macron. French and Western media, as well as senior public figures, were all endorsing his election and portraying him as the candidate of “centrist” moderation.In what should be seen as outrageous interference in French democracy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former US president Barack Obama glowingly backed Macron.

Inside France, Le Pen certainly had a problem with her party’s historic baggage being seen as fascist and racist. That helped “sell” Macron’s image as the voice of reason and youthful progressiveness. He also got lucky from the corruption scandals that marred the center-right candidate Francois Fillion. And with Hollande’s “Socialist” sell-out of political identity that hampered the cause of the independent leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon. The latter nevertheless performed remarkably well in the election first round and can rightly claim to have set the foundation going forward for a new genuinely socialist party – under the name France Defiant.

Also bear in mind that the total number of votes abstained or spoiled were over 16 million, compared with Macron’s tally of 20 million. Thus, the new president has a dubious popular mandate to pursue his policies.His En Marche movement was only formed last year. Macron has no members in the French parliament, although he may pick up some after next month’s legislative elections. That means that his new administration will likely be staffed by political appointees and technocrats whom he had networked with over the years while in the world of banking.

Everything about Macron smacks of being the ultimate insider, far from the media image of a fresh-faced outsider. This guy is embedded with the French political and financial establishment. His apparent lack of formal politics is no virtue. Macron will emerge as a ruthless servant for the global capitalist elite who have long wanted to ransack French society for its relatively progressive democratic rights.On the eve of the French election second round last weekend there was a suspicious mass leak of Macron emails. It’s not clear who did it. But Macron and the media establishment in France and the US are recklessly amplifying the war of words against Russia. He has already banned Russian news outlets Sputnik and RT from his campaign allegedly for “spreading fake news.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin magnanimously congratulated Macron on his election. Putin also called for French cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

It is doubtful that Macron will reciprocate the gesture of Russian goodwill. He has already shown himself to be adept at playing the “Russian Card” to drum up Russophobia and NATO-led aggression towards Moscow.Macron is heralding a new era alright. One where the French president is a zealous servant of high finance, global profit-making and a declared enemy of workers. With no political party worth talking of or genuine popular base, Macron is an economic hitman in the service of a faceless global oligarchy.

When his unscrupulous, anti-Russia expedience is also factored in, the “new era” under Macron presages even more NATO-led belligerence.

Final rehearsal of military parade marking 72nd anniversary of victory in Great Patriotic War
© Sputnik/ Vladimir Astapkovich

His ascent to political power this week comes as the world marked the anniversary of the defeat of fascism in Europe 72 years ago. The illusory “centrist, outsider” who claims to represent “neither left nor right” is a disturbing echo of dark forces. He embodies political power without democratic accountability, a tool for corporate-financial tyranny and a willing advocate for more militarism in the world, in particular towards a much demonized Russia.Ironically, Macron’s election win over Le Pen is marketed in the Western corporate media as a “defeat of neo-fascism.” Welcome to the new Orwellian era of illusions sold as democracy and liberation.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

KKE on French Elections: “Macron’s prevalence doesn’t consist a real victory for the people”

Monday, May 8, 2017

KKE on French Elections: “Macron’s prevalence doesn’t consist a real victory for the people”
Commenting on the result of the French Presidential Elections and the electoral victory of Emmanuel Macron*, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stresses out:
“The prevalence of Macron against the reactionary, repulsive candidacy of Le Pen consists a victory for those sections of the capital which are steadily oriented to the EU and the Eurozone, in contrast with those which- for their own interests- challenge this route. Under no circumstances, therefore, it consists a real victory for the French people.
Macron too, like the previous ones (presidents), will kneel down the French people with new measures in favor of the capital. For that reason, all these who- in Greece as well- talk about “breath” and a “new day” will be exposed soon, like they did in the past with Hollande and the “fresh air” he supposedly would bring.”
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
* IDC NOTE: Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, 39, has become France’s youngest-ever president after an estimated 65% to 35% victory in the second round run-off against Front National’s right-wing leader Marine Le Pen.
Communists of France: Macron or Le Pen, Either Way More Struggle

Via International Communist Press, 25 April 2017

The declarations of the Revolutionary Communist Party of France (PCRF), the Revolutionary Party-Communists (PRC), the Pole of the Communist Rebirth in France (PRCF) and Pierre Laurent on behalf of the French Communist Party (PCF) on the first round of the presidential elections in France

Following the first  round  of the presidential elections that were held on April 23, Emmanuel Macron of the Forward! (EM) movement and Marine Le Pen of National Front (FN) qualifying to the second round, we share some extracts of the declarations of the Revolutionary Communist Party of France (PCRF), the Revolutionary Party-Communists (PRC), the Pole of the Communist Rebirth in France (PRCF) and Pierre Laurent on behalf of the French Communist Party (PCF). The second and final round of the elections will be held on May 7.

PCRF: ‘The results of the elections manifest itself by a 4% increase of the stock market CAC 40’
PCRF calls ‘the workers, as well as the democrats worried about the last five-year term, to refuse the Macron-Le Pen swindle by voting neither for one nor for the other’ at the second tour of the presidential elections. The party underlines that ‘[t]he challenge of the second round is not bourgeoisie democracy or fascism’.

‘…the candidate chosen by the grand bourgeoisie, the banker Emmanuel Macron, launched by François Hollande, the chargé d’affaire of the Capital, took first place ahead of Marine Le Pen, of the National Front. The latter represents the increasing strength of the ultra-reactionary current of the public opinion, the reserve force of the bourgeoisie and its mass of maneuver.’

‘… contrary to what the media bangs on about, we take into account the political character of the abstention and blank vote and spoilt vote, which concerns the popular strata, who do not feel represented since the betrayal of the directors of PCF. It is a question of the first “party” of France.’

PRC: ‘There is nothing good to expect from these two candidates, the candidates of the capital’
PRC calls ‘voting for none of the candidates’ or put the ballot paper in the name of the party’s unofficial candidate Antonio Sanchez in the ballot-envelope at the second tour of the presidential elections.

‘We say it once again that in France there are economic, financial, cultural and social means to apply a large-scale policy of economic and social development in the service of the people to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, to increase the minimum wage and all the salaries, the pensions. France should stop participating in imperialist wars and develop a large-scale policy of peace in order to insure the security of the people.’

PRCF: ‘It is not question of awarding Macron with a certificate of anti-fascism’
PRCF stated that ‘[b]y relentlessly campaigning among the popular strata in order to decrease the votes of the National Front, we have to make this party of hatred retreat as much as possible…’ and ‘for all that, while the Right (Fillon, Juppé etc.) and PS call already for vote Macron, PRCF will not back this candidate whose ultra-maastrichtian politics that aim for dissolve the nation, accompanying the wars of the US, pulverizing all the social acqusitions…hence, nourishing National Front which thrives on all these social and national betrayals in order to usurp and pervert the reference to the nation’

‘The militants of the PRCF will react in the field in order to reduce the score of National Front in labor class districts since this party dishonors France, divides the labor class, pushes the country to an intercommunity war and fascisation, even the road to the police state that was largely paved by the governments of Republicans (LR) and Socialist Party (PS) (which, still, no long time ago, tries to ban mass union demonstrations) since decades.’

PL: ‘This situation is extremely grave for our country’
Pierre Laurent, Secretary General of PCF, made the declaration below:

‘The second round of the French presidential election will be a contest between the racist and xenophobic candidate of the far right, Marine Le Pen, and Emmanuel Macron, the candidate selected by the financial world to reinforce the liberal policies afflicting our country for the past 40 years.

This situation is extremely grave for our country. The far-right reached the second round and the left has been eliminated. However, for the first time in decades, millions of citizens, striving for social change, nearly succeeded in carrying their candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon to the second round. Voters who were betrayed by the policies of Hollande and Valls and who worked hard to bring Jean-Luc Mélenchon to the second round are today experiencing mixed and sometimes contradictory feelings.

At this writing and given the first results available to us, we would like to say to these voters that the nearly 20% score obtained by Jean-Luc Mélenchon raises a new hope for the future, for the reinvention of the new left our country has been waiting for, to unlock the political system and democracy. This result is remarkable and is the first time since 1981 that a candidate representing social transformation has achieved such a score.

The struggle continues for millions of young people, women and men who aspire to a new society free from the tyranny of profitability; people seeking the true left and policies of justice and social progress that refuse austerity, unemployment and social insecurity.

We are entering a completely new and exceptional period in the history of our country. Notwithstanding the diversion of “presidentialisation” and its traps, the event is momentous: the two parties, the Socialists and the Républicains, who have dominated French political life for 40 years, were eliminated in the fist round of voting.

Aspiration for change, for a new choice of society, will continue to grow inexorably. The mobilisation of youth and working-class neighbourhoods is a promise for the future.

For us, this is the essential lesson of the campaign: nothing is more urgent than to continue to remain open to these new aspirations for a genuine citizens’ democracy, to seek the path that will enable us to join forces to build a new social, ecological Republic of solidarity, respectful of diversity and the expectations of our people.

This is a struggle that the Communist Party intends to pursue with all political, social and citizen forces available. We have unprecedented advantages going forward.

We applaud the campaign of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, all activists from the Communist Party, the Front de Gauche, la France insoumise, elected representatives from the Communist Party and the Front de Gauche, and all the citizens who were engaged and voted. This result belongs to you.

The commitment of our party, our activists, and elected officials representing the values of the Republic to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s campaign brought about promising new alliances. Jean-Luc Mélenchon achieved very good results in cities, cantons and districts where the Communist Party is well established and has a significant network of activists and representatives.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s results demonstrate a deep desire for change, for greater honesty in politics, more social justice, solidarity, genuine democracy, peace, and respect for the environment.

The French left has opened a new page in history with this campaign. It is a new era for the left. The Communist Party is completely invested in this revitalization through our project, La France en commun, and fully focused on the challenges of the 21st Century.

At this time, aware of the huge battles to come and the responsibilities that our party bears, for the second round of voting on 7 May we call for a vote that will block Marine Le Pen’s bid for the presidency and thwart the menace she and her clan represent for democracy, the Republic and peace; unfortunately, there is only one ballot that can be used to that effect.

Marine Le Pen seeks a society of hatred, the rejection of others, racism and xenophobia; a society that would divide those with common interests to benefit her own clan and financial powers; a society that would scorn the fundamental principles of equality and fraternity in the Republic in favour of discrimination among the French, among people who live and work in our country, based on their origins and nationality. We do not want this.

Marine Le Pen wants a dangerous world where all types of war would become possible, where nationalist rivalries would be encouraged. With Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and the European far-right movements as allies, she would threaten world security if she were president of France, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. We do not want this.

It is our duty, for today and for future generations, to prevent her from becoming president of our Republic, which would mean that the far-right would have control of all of the instruments of the State.

Our appeal for 7 May is obviously in no case a show of support for the neoliberal, anti-social programme of Emmanuel Macron, which we opposed when he was a minister and which we will continue to fight without concession whenever workers and their rights and public services are under attack.

Appeals will be made on the occasion of the 1st of May demonstrations by trade unions, and we call for broad participation in International Workers’ Day events to express our mobilisation against the far right and in support of peace, democracy and social progress.

Faced with the ballot choices of the second round of presidential elections, the legislative elections to be held 11 and 18 June are of crucial importance. Citizens who carried the banner for social transformation by voting Jean-Luc Mélenchon must now persevere and break through with the legislative elections. The National Assembly can act as a counter-weight to the policies advanced by the government following the second round of the presidential election on 7 May.

On the strength of the result obtained this Sunday, we can elect numerous honest députés, representatives who will be close to you and defend the interests of the people, as Communists MPs have done for five years, in particular against the so-called Macron and El Khomri laws. These representatives will resist the right and the far right, will not make alliances with MPs from Macron’s party to approve anti-social laws. These MPs will be a force of resistance and hope in the face of financial greed, fighting hatred and division.

Communists are fully invested in this legislative battle, which we have understood to be essential from day one; it is as important as the presidential election. The French Communist Party is presenting and supporting a new generation of candidates, an equal number of men and women, to bring the people’s voice into the National Assembly.

As of this evening, and in the next 48 hours, the Communist Party calls on the forces of the left and progress, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s team and those from la France insoumise, all of the forces engaged in the campaign, supporters of Benoît Hamon, Socialists and Greens, women and men who want to rebuild a dynamic force on the left for social transformation, to meet, to debate publically and prepare for these decisive elections together: the second round of the presidential election and the legislative elections to be held on 11 and 18 June.

The French Communist Party is ready to engage at once in this effort.’

Reply to IWPCHI

By James Thompson

We received this comment in response to the article we posted:

“We found the link to this article from your Twitter feed and followed it in the hope that the CPUSA – and/or your French comrades – might have something interesting to say about the French elections. We were not surprised to be disappointed. This is a worthless “analysis” piece taken word-for-word from the bourgeois press; it hides the truth about these candidates, portraying them as if they did not represent any of the contending classes in a capitalist society but were existing in some magical metaphysical plane “above” or “beyond” “mere” class analysis. If we wanted to know what the bourgeoisie thought about the French elections we could just read Le Temps or Paris Match. Have the “Communist Party” Stalinists given up even pretending to be Marxist dialecticians these days?

There are revolutionary socialist workers parties in France, are there not? What are their critiques of Macron, Le Pen and all the other shameless servants of the hideous French bourgeoisie? That would be interesting to read; this is not even good bourgeois press analysis.


Workers of the World, Unite! Return to the Revolutionary Road of Lenin and Trotsky! Long Live the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917!


Independent Workers Party of Chicago”

We appreciate all comments in response to the articles we post, but reserve the duty to respond.

We were not surprised to be disappointed with the splitting tactics of self serving Trots. We understand that that is what Trots do to disrupt any progress of the working class.

First, we are not affiliated in any way with the CPUSA. They expelled us when we questioned their unquestioning allegiance to the Democratic Party.

Second, we will be happy to post any analysis from French Communists when we find it. This article was posted in Telesur, which is a beacon of truth in the struggle to continue to revolutionary government of Venezuela.We posted it because we found it interesting. It merely delineates the positions of the two candidates in the runoff election in France. Maybe we missed something, but we did not notice that there are any Trots in the runoff. We do not endorse any articles we post from other sources, but offer them for educational and informational purposes to the working class in its struggle to attain political power.

Of course, political struggle is anathema to counterrevolutionary Trots who seek to split and divide the working class into an infinitesimal number of splinter organizations. When the working class is divided, the bourgeoisie will continue to prevail.

If you do not have knowledge of your enemies, you cannot fight them effectively and instead must cling to hollow, meaningless slogan tributes to the villainous traitor to the revolutionary process, Trotsky.

History has proven that Trotsky worked as a German agent in the effort to sabotage the Soviet Union. His palatial home in Mexico City proves he was on the bourgeois payroll.

We recognize that the Soviet Union was an outstanding experiment in socialism, but it failed due to the sell out to the bourgeoisie led by Gorbachev. Trotsky’s machinations and those of his pathetic followers contributed to the surrender of the USSR.

We reject the characterization of our website as “Stalinist”, but realize that that is merely Trots at play using any lie they can conjure up to split the working class.

It is not necessary to respond to the Trotskyite gibberish which reveals their lack of knowledge of the class struggle.

What to Expect From France After Sunday’s Presidential Run-Off
| May 6, 2017 | 1:46 pm | Analysis, France, political struggle | No comments
New official posters for the candidates for the 2017 French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron (L), head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and Marine Le Pen (R), French National Front (FN) political party leader, are displayed in Fontaines-sur-Saone, near Lyon, France, April 30, 2017

What to Expect From France After Sunday’s Presidential Run-Off

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Macron, Le Pen Heading to 2nd Round of French Presidential Election (80)
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The world’s attention is glued to France as the country is set to choose its next president on Sunday from the two candidates, right-wing Marine Le Pen and independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, whose political programs strongly differ on every issue.

PARIS (Sputnik) Candidates political programs strongly differ on every issue, including relations with Russia and the United States, the future of France in the European Union, immigration and the fight against terrorism.Speaking of her opponent, Le Pen often used the term “ideal antipode,” which illustrates the differences in the election programs of the candidates.


Le Pen has repeatedly stated that she plans to normalize relations with Russia in order for Europe to be able to “look into the bright future.” She called the sanctions against Russia “incoherent” and recognized Crimea’s reunification with Russia, calling it “natural.”

Le Pen believes that France needs to reach balance in relations with the United States and Russia, noting that there is no reason for Paris to wage a “cold war” against Moscow.

She considers cooperation in the fight against terrorism as one of the main points of relations with Russia, and believes that the two countries should exchange intelligence on the issue.

Former Economy Minister Macron also believes that France needs to conduct dialogue with Russia, but his position is harsher. According to Macron, France’s strong ties with the United States as a strategic partner must remain a priority, including the cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The candidate considers Russia a “working partner” on “regional issues,” in particular on the Ukrainian and Syrian crises. Macron also supports the idea of maintaining the sanctions regime against Russia, linking it with the implementation of the Minsk agreements.


One of the key points of Le Pen’s election campaign is France’s possible exit from the European Union. The candidate softened her rhetoric on the issue a bit before the run-off, stating that she intends to replace the European Union with a “European alliance of free and sovereign states,” initiating in case of her victory negotiations on a profound reform of the “totalitarian” union. If the negotiations fail, Le Pen promised to hold a referendum on Frexit.

However, the candidate noted that she was not against the united Europe, but stressed that the European project dodged from its aims. She also spoke in favor of leaving the Schengen area, bringing back national borders and leaving the NATO military command.

Macron, in his turn, is a firm supporter of European integration and considers defending the interests of the European Union and its citizens his priority, especially after Brexit. However, ahead of the second round he stated that the European Union has to be reformed or will face perspectives of Frexit, as the French were full of “anger” at the Union.

As for the single currency, Le Pen, if elected, plans to hold a national referendum on leaving the eurozone, and called euro “dead” because of the differences in the countries’ competitiveness. She also promised to return the franc for everyday operations within two years after her election, only keeping the euro for corporate payments and international operations. Macron lashed out at the idea.

The first round of the election took place on April 23, with Macron receiving 24.01 percent of votes and Le Pen finishing second with 21.3 percent.

According to the latest Ifop opinion poll, Macron in expected to win the run-off with 63 percent of the votes, while Le Pen is set to receive support of 37 percent of the voters.

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Macron condemns ‘massive’ hacking attack as documents leaked
| May 5, 2017 | 9:00 pm | Analysis, France, political struggle | No comments

Macron condemns ‘massive’ hacking attack as documents leaked

Emmanuel MacronImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Campaigning has ended ahead of Sunday’s vote

The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the target of a “massive hacking attack” after a trove of documents was released online.

The campaign said that genuine files were mixed up with fake ones in order to confuse people.

It said that it was clear the hackers wanted to undermine Mr Macron ahead of Sunday’s second round vote.

The centrist will face off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

The documents were leaked on a file sharing website late on Friday, as the official presidential campaigning period drew to a close.

The Macron camp condemned the leak minutes before the midnight deadline (22:00 GMT).

Candidates and the media now face restrictions until the polls close on Sunday evening, meaning Mr Macron cannot issue any more statements.

Opinion polls had indicated the former economy minister carried a lead of 20 percentage points or more over Ms Le Pen.

What was released?

About nine gigabytes of data were posted online by an anonymous user.

The details are unclear so far, but Mr Macron’s En Marche movement said internal campaign documents, including emails and financial data, had been taken in an “act of massive, co-ordinated hacking”.

“The leaked files were obtained several weeks ago by hacking personal and professional email accounts of several officials of the movement,” it said in a statement.

The campaign said the documents showed only legitimate campaign activities.

France’s election authorities have warned media outlets against reporting on the contents of the leaked documents because of the restrictions now in place.

Who might be responsible?

That too remains unclear. The Macron camp has not blamed any specific party but said the hack clearly aimed to damage it and undermine French democracy,

It compared it to the leak of Democratic Party emails in last year’s US presidential election that was blamed on Russian hackers.

Wikileaks, which published those emails, posted a link to the Macron documents on Twitter but implied it was not responsible.

Last month security experts from the company Trend Micro said that Russian hackers were targeting Mr Macron’s campaign.

Russia has denied that it is behind attacks aimed at Mr Macron.

On Thursday, the centrist candidate filed a lawsuit over online rumours that he had a secret bank account in the Caribbean.

Mr Macron called the allegations “fake news and lies” and said some of the sites spreading them were “linked to Russian interests”.

What else happened on the final day of campaigning?

Separate security alerts in and around Paris marred Friday’s final scramble by the candidates to court voters.

A suspected radical Islamist possessing weapons and a pledge of allegiance to IS was arrested north of the capital.

And Greenpeace activists scaled the Eiffel Tower to unfurl a banner, sparking an emergency police meeting.

Image copyright Reuters

Image caption The Greenpeace stunt caught police off guard

What is at stake on Sunday?

France’s voters have rejected the two big political parties – the Socialists and the Republicans – that have governed for decades,

Voters will be making a decision on France’s future direction and on its place at the heart of the European Union.

If they opt for liberal Emmanuel Macron, they will be backing a candidate who seeks EU reform as well as deeper European integration, in the form of a eurozone budget and eurozone finance ministers.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionEmmanuel Macron’s unconventional route to political stardom in France.

If instead they choose far-right Marine Le Pen she promises quite the opposite. She wants a Europe of nations to replace the EU.

“I give myself six months to negotiate with the EU the return of sovereignty. Then it will be the French who decide,” she tweeted.

The assumption is that she would fail and a referendum would take place initially on France’s membership of the euro.

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Media captionHow Marine Le Pen’s past has shaped who she is today

After the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of US President Donald Trump, France is the latest country to deal a blow to politics as usual.

What are the battleground issues?

One of the overriding issues facing French voters is unemployment, which stands at almost 10% and is the eighth highest among the 28 EU member states. One in four under-25s is unemployed.

The French economy has made a slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and all the leading candidates say deep changes are needed.

Economic challenges facing next president

Marine Le Pen wants the pension age cut to 60 and to “renationalise French debt”, which she argues is largely held by foreigners.

Emmanuel Macron wants to cut 120,000 public-sector jobs, reduce public spending by €60bn (£50bn; $65bn), plough billions into investment and reduce unemployment to below 7%.

What the two candidates want

What about security?

The election is taking place amid a state of emergency, and the first round took place three days after a policeman was shot dead on the Champs Elysées in the heart of Paris.

More than 230 people have died in terror attacks since January 2015 and officials fear more of the hundreds of young French Muslims who travelled to Syria and Iraq may return to commit new atrocities.

Intelligence services believe attackers are deliberately pursuing a Le Pen victory, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris – because that could tip the country into chaos.

The former FN leader wants to suspend the EU’s open-border agreement on France’s frontiers and expel foreigners who are on the watch lists of intelligence services.

What happens after Sunday?

Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen came top of the 11 candidates in total who participated in the first round of voting on 23 April.

While the outcome of Sunday’s second round should be clear that evening, the results will be officially proclaimed by France’s constitutional council on Thursday, 11 May.

Sunday, 14 May, marks the end of outgoing President François Hollande’s term, and is the latest possible date for the inauguration and official transfer of power to his successor.

BBC coverage

You can follow the French election on the BBC News website. Click here for all our latest stories.

On the day of the election, we will be running a live page bringing together the latest news, video and analysis.

On TV, you can watch a BBC World News Election Special, from 18:30 BST (17:30 GMT / 19:30 local time in France) on Sunday, which will be broadcast on BBC News in the UK and on BBC World News internationally, with Christian Fraser presenting from Paris.

For radio, BBC World Service will broadcast a special extended edition of Newshour from Paris at 18:00 GMT on Sunday.