Daily Management Review

Probability of France's Far Right Ending Largest Civilization Project of 20th Century


01/31/2017




Probability of France's Far Right Ending Largest Civilization Project of 20th Century
Analysts have been carefully assessing how French elections in May could deal a "severe blow" to the European Union (EU) with Marine le Pen transforming her National Front (NF) into a party for the populist era.
 
"It's difficult to imagine how the European Union could function should such a Euroskeptic (as Le Pen) be at the helm of one if its major economies … It would likely precede its fracturing," Michael Hessel, political economist at Absolute Strategy Research, said.
 
Le Pen's best hope of securing an unlikely election victory is low voter turnout, he said. A one-in-five chance of becoming French president in May was projected for Le Pen by him.
 
If elected president in May, renegotiation of the terms of France’s membership of the European Union has been promised by Le Pen. But there are limited chances of her win. In the second and final round of voting, Le Pen would be defeated by the former conservative prime minister and her most likely political rival, Francois Fillon,, opinion polls suggest.
 
Placed just behind social-democrat Emmanuel Macron on 22 percent, a survey by Kantar Sofres released on Sunday placed Fillon on 21 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Le Pen remains the leading candidate on 25 percent.
 
A Le Pen victory would cast significant doubt over the future of the EU, political leaders across Europe have voiced their concern. He did want to think about the possibility of a Le Pen presidency, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told local radio station Onda Cero on Thursday.
 
"It would simply mean the destruction of Europe," Rajoy concluded.
 
"After Brexit last year, if enemies of Europe manage again in the Netherlands or in France to get results then we face the threat that the largest civilization project of the 20th century, namely the European Union, could fall apart," Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister told parliament on Thursday.
 
The majority of French citizens reportedly wish to remain in the EU with its membership enshrined in the constitution, despite Le Pen's charge towards a so-called "Frexit". Therefore, before being able to host a referendum which the majority of citizens are likely to reject, Le Pen would be required to seek approval for constitutional amendments from the National Assembly and the Senate.
 
"It is quite hard to quantify (Le Pen's) chances, but I would put them at around 10 percent - not impossible, but not very likely either," Larissa Brunner, analyst for western Europe at think tank Oxford Analytica, told CNBC in an email.
 
"(Should Le Pen deliver 'Frexit'), it could put the future of the EU into question. I don't think the EU would collapse – after all, there would still be 26 countries left – but without one of its key founding members it would lose global influence and could slowly disintegrate."
 
"It could even turn into a merely economic union and become more similar to the European Economic Area (EEA) or the customs union. Assuming a 'Frexit' goes smoothly, other countries such as Italy could follow," Brunner added.
 
A vote by France to leave the EU wouldn't necessary spell its end, analysts at Citi also believe.
 
"Probably not, since the union does not depend on any pre-determined list of member states. But it would likely deal a severe blow to the institution, with one of its founding and largest members no longer seeing much value in maintaining the four freedoms on the movement of people, goods, services and capital," the analysts said in a note on January 5.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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