At four days of the second round of the French presidential election, the televised debate between the two finalists, the centrist Emmanuel Macron and the extreme Right-winger Marine Le Pen, has often turned to cacophony and verbal pugilism.
At the end of a very tense campaign, the two candidates debated Wednesday evening in a similar atmosphere, Mrs. Le Pen reproaching Mr. Macron for carrying “wild globalization”, the pro-European centrist accusing him of “hatred” and Of “lies”.
According to a survey of a sample of viewers interviewed at the end of the debate, 63% consider that Mr Macron was the most convincing, compared with 34% for Mrs Le Pen – figures that more or less intersect Of voting for Sunday, announced by several polls around 60% for the centrist.
From the beginning of the show, the latter attacked marble at the head, calling Macron a “candidate of savage globalization”, “of precariousness”, “of communitarianism, of the war of all against all”.
“You are not the candidate of the spirit of finesse” nor “the will of a democratic debate balanced and open,” he replied, ironic. He opposed “the spirit of conquest” which he believed embodied in his “spirit of defeat”.
Symbol of the harsh attacks, the exchange on the jihadist attacks, which have made 239 deaths since January 2015 and traumatized the country.
“Against terrorism, we must first find our borders right away,” hammered Marine Le Pen, promising “the expulsion” of all foreigners suspected of threatening the security of the territory. Security and terrorism are “totally absent from your project,” she told Macron, accusing him of “complacency for Islamic fundamentalism.”
“What you are proposing, as usual, is perlimpinpin powder,” he said, stressing that border controls had already been reinstated and pointed out that elected representatives of the National Front had not voted French and European anti-terrorist legislation.
The 39-year-old candidate, who led the first round, accused the 48-year-old right-wing boss of falling into the “trap” of jihadists and “carrying civil war in the country.”
“The high priestess of fear, she is in front of me,” he said later on the euro, because with it, “we will leave the euro, Europe”, then That a majority of Frenchmen are hostile to such an outcome.
Le Pen has accused her opponent of being subjected to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her vision of Europe. “In any case France will be headed by a woman, it will be me or Mrs. Merkel,” she said.
“Stop with these ridiculous formulas,” Macron replied, adding, “France is not a closed country. I am the candidate of a strong France, in a Europe that protects “.
The former Minister of Economy accused his rival of multiplying the promises without being able to finance them. “There is no magic finance,” he said, adding, “You have not explained how you lower unemployment, you do not offer anything.”
“Piloted by François Hollande”
The programs of the two candidates are the antipodes. The speech of Emmanuel Macron, a liberal economist and societal issues, especially appeals to urban youth, the middle classes and the business community. That of Marine Le Pen, anti-immigration, anti-Europe and anti-system, attracted rather the popular, rural, “invisible” classes and captures the ras-le-bol of French victims of endemic unemployment and its consequences.
Last great opportunity to convince the many undecided of this election, this debate, ritual of the French political life since 1974, reached a level of tension unmatched until now.
“Lies,” “No matter what!”, “You do not know your records!” Repeated Mr. Macron, constantly watching his rival when she was plunged into her records.
Smiling ironically on the lips, accusing index, Mrs. Le Pen has been ingenious in provoking “the beloved child of the system and the elites”, saying it everywhere “piloted by François Hollande” and constantly referring him to his participation in the government Socialist party of the very unpopular outgoing president.
“You are the heir of a system that has thrived on the anger of the French for decades,” Macron replied, “you are his parasite.” “France deserves better than you,” he said.
Like the majority of the French press, the daily Le Monde deplored on Thursday a “brutal, violent debate from end to end”. And “for the bottom of the programs, we remain on his hunger,” sorry the daily Le Parisien.
On Thursday evening, Mr Macron will hold his last campaign rally in Albi (south-west) and Mrs Le Pen in Ennemain (north).