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Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups The rally of the National Front with the participation of Marine Le Pen.

There are two most prominent parties in the radical nationalist wing in France. These are the National Front led by Marine Le Pen and the National Republican Movement, which split from the former in 1998.

The National Front is the oldest nationalist party in the country (founded in 1972). Its basic requirements: the cessation of further immigration from non-European countries and more severe requirements for obtaining French citizenship; return to traditional values: restricting abortions, encourage large families, preservation of French culture; protectionist policies, support for French producers, small businesses; opposition to the European integration process, a greater degree of independence from the European Union and international organizations. The National Front also had radical projects such as tax collection from companies who gained excess profits at the expense of foreign labour and the introduction of "the principle of national preference", which implies the dismissal of immigrants who would open up jobs for French citizens.

The party achieved the greatest success in the elections to the National Assembly in 1986 (35 seats) and the European Parliament in 1984 (10 seats). In the parliamentary elections in 2012 the party got two seats in the parliament. Another visible success of the party was during the presidential elections in 2012, at which Marine Le Pen came third.

Marine Le Pen tried to improve the image of her party. She stated that her father’s words about Ebola were “distorted” and “do not have any connection to the migration problem” . After anti-Semitic statements of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen preferred to distance herself from her father, stating that he made a political mistake. Vice-President of the Party Louis Alliot called Jean-Marie Le Pen’s statement “stupid”. On June 11, National Front shut down J.M. Le Pen’s video-blog .

On June 19, Marine Le Pen was interviewed by Valeurs Actuelles where she said that her party is the best “shield for the Jewish population of France”. “There is no reason to hide that there are suspicious of anti-Semitism directed at the National Front, but I wholeheartedly deny these allegations” .

On June 25, it was reported that National Front will abandon its plans to create a coalition with the Polish Congress of the New Right in the European Parliament, after Nazi statements by Congress’ leader.

In her speeches, the leader of the far-right Marine Le Pen demands the assimilation of immigrants, especially Muslims. In the programs of Islamophobic organisations, anti-Islamic requirements are also present. These organizations often position themselves as anti-fascist, believing Islamists and all Muslims to be fascist. After European Elections, Le Pen declared a course towards “France for the French” .

Elections held in March 2014 were a huge success for the National Front. In the first round, the party got 472 council seats across the country. In the second round, National Front won 98 Mayoral positions across France, including in Frejus and Beziers, as well as 1200 council seats. However, given that France has more than 36 000 constituencies, these figures are more or less symbolic.

In fact, the only thing that prevents NF from getting a significant faction in the French parliament and local parliaments is the the two-tour system of elections that exists in France, when in the second round all opponents of the party unite against it. During local elections in March 2015 and regional elections in December 2015, National Front won first place in 43 departments from 101 and 6 regions out of 13.

Marin Le Pen is also becoming more popular. Her average rating during 2015 was 26.27%. For comparison, the average rating of President F. Holland was 20.09%. However, until December, the level of her popularity did not rise above 15%. According to polls organized in April 2016, M. Le Pen could have outrun the former president N. Sarkozy in the first round (25% against 23% or 29% versus 24%), but would have lost to former Prime Minister Alain Juppe (26% against 35%). Approximately the same number of voters (22%-25%) were ready to support the National Front in polls held in 2015.

The National Republican Movement split off from the National Front due to disagreements between the leader of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and the policy of Bruno Megre. The NRM received less than 5% of the votes in the 2002 and 2004 elections. Although political observers viewed the NRM as an extreme right-wing party, they position themselves as a classical liberal and nationalist party. The NRM stands against immigration, Islamization and the European Union, but, unlike the National Front, supports a free market and neoliberalism.

The National Republican Movement split from the National Front because of differences between National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Maigret’s policies. The NRM received less than 5% of the votes in the elections of 2002 and 2004. While political observers considered the NRM as extremely right-wing, they position themselves as a classical liberal and nationalist party. NRM opposes immigration, Islamization and the European Union, but in contrast to the National Front supports the free market and neo-liberalism.

There is a number of anti-Islamic (anti-immigrant) radical groups, among which are the "French renewal» (Renouveau France) which positions itself as a nationalist, Catholic and "anti-revolutionary" (in this case, as a reactionary opposition to the principles of the French Revolution of 1789) organization, "Nationalist youth", banned in 2013 for the promotion of hatred, as well as the "Generation with a national identity» («Génération identitaire») organization, that desecrated a mosque in Poitiers in October 2012. Worth a mention are organizations such as the "Republican resistance", "Secular resistance" (Riposte Laïque), "Community for Identity", "Third Way", "Equality and Reconciliation," "The New Rightist", "The League of the South" and others.

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