France stays with Europe
by Salvatore Messina
7th May 2017: Emmanuel Macron is the new president of the French Republic. The founder of the centrist movement “En marche!” won the ballot against the leader of extreme right, Marine Le Pen, with 66,06% of the vote. What makes this success surprising is the fact that, as hardly ever happened in the history of France, neither the candidate of the Socialist Party (in this case Benoit Hamon), nor that of of the Republican Party (François Fillon), managed to reach the second ballot voting round. And then, thanks to the consent they gave him (or better the disapproval they expressed towards an extreme right government), it was mere child’s play for Macron to shift the popular opinion towards a conservative government, which was paradoxically the same conservative government that had refused Holland a shot at a second term. Most likely, the winds of change scared the French people. Or at least that is how conservatives all over the world commented, especially the leaders of “Lega Nord”, Matteo Salvini, and “Fratelli d’Italia”, Giorgia Meloni. Le Pen’s euroscepticism was so unappealing to French voters that they preferred a pro-European policy in the wake of what the liberal Hollande has done in the past five years. Therefore, Macron’s election does not represent the beginning of a new era, but the hereinafter of France’s opening towards Europe and all the world.