April 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Macron wants to lead Europe on Ukraine, but France may not let him – Politico

Macron wants to lead Europe on Ukraine, but France may not let him – Politico

The question then is: How far is Macron really willing to go this time? His previous noble speech on Ukraine was not matched by any action. More importantly, can he hope to achieve supremacy as a galvanizing Western leader if he fails to take France with him?

All French opposition forces have already circumvented him. Far-right Marine Le Pen mocked his assertion that Western forces in Ukraine “should not be dismissed” as manipulating…life [France’s] children“, while the leader of the extreme left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, said that it was “insanity” to pit “a nuclear power against another nuclear power.” Mainstream forces, such as the Socialist Party and the conservative Republican Party, also condemned the French president's flexing of muscles.

These are arguments that resonate strongly among voters in France – at a time when Macron's centrist liberal party polls well below the far left and far right ahead of the European elections in June.

The talking points on news channels on Tuesday were whether France should prepare for war with Russia. The answers were broad: “No.”

“I really don't understand why he said that, it could be seen as a dangerous and worrying idea, sending troops to the French. Especially if we don't have any agreement within the European Union,” said Bruno Gunbart, a pollster at OpinionWay.

For Ganbart, Macron's statement was about “sending a message to diplomatic partners” after he faced criticism for his “closeness” to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the start of the war.