At a recent press conference, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally party in the French National Assembly, stated that Emmanuel Macron has done nothing since his April re-election, despite the fact that he ought to be working hard to create the groundwork for the following five years.
Why Sanctions Should Be Lifted
Le Pen, who is Macron’s number one political rival, reiterated her view that the sanctions against Russia serve no purpose and hurt European citizens. Speaking at a press conference, she claimed that in order to prevent power outages and gas supply shortages in Europe, the sanctions should be eased.
According to Ms. Le Pen, it is hard to ignore the fact that, in spite of the French government’s lofty promises, Russia’s economy has not been crippled and reminded that, as opposed to what the French government expected, Moscow is not in default. The right-wing politician argued that France has suffered considerably more damage because of the sanctions than Russia. She stated that the six sanctions packages against Russia actually represent a string of mistakes by the European Union, adding that Russia has found other partners to trade with and has managed to actually evade some sanctions.
According to the French daily Le Monde, Ms. Le Pen had previously issued a warning at the beginning of June that the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Russia would have terrible effects on the purchasing power of the French people. The right-wing politician claimed that rather than sanctions, a decrease in gas and oil prices would have effectively hurt Russia, because they would have financially strangled the nation.
Marine Le Pen strongly criticized President Macron as well, saying that since his re-election in April, he has accomplished virtually nothing. She stated that this was unfortunate since traditionally, in the first 100 days, heads of state would establish and reaffirm their mandates. The sole action taken by the French administration, according to Ms. Le Pen, was the draft bill on increasing purchasing power, which was presented to the legislature in early July only because Emmanuel Macron had no other option.
The French government is preparing a 20 billion euro package of measures, to lessen the load on the populace. The law includes provisions to extend the fuel price freeze through the end of September and to control electricity and gas rates through the end of the calendar year. The largest set of reforms focuses on social benefits and pensions. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne responded to a caller’s query on France Bleu’s call-in program by confirming that pensions will increase by 4 per cent starting in July for both old-age and invalidity pensioners. However, according to Marine Le Pen, the government’s proposed solutions are drastically inadequate.
Ms. Le Pen in fact echoed what the Hungarian government has been saying since the outbreak of the war. The Orbán government, although has not vetoed any of the sanctions, has made it clear that it opposes them. Hungary largely relies on energy coming from Russia, so as a result, the sanctions are hurting the country significantly more than other EU states. Hungarian energy expert Olivér Hortay also expressed the view on social media that sanctions do more damage than good. He also added that the data he collected show that the aggressive rhetoric of Western politicians has also worsened the situation. He suggested that the huge inflation affecting Europe is caused by the sanctions and by bad communication, not just by the war itself.