Macron warns podcast of 'civil war' risk as French elections loom


  • World
  • Tuesday, 25 Jun 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron reacts during a press conference about the priorities of his Renaissance party and its allies ahead of the early legislative elections in Paris, France, June 12, 2024. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/ File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron told a podcast episode shown on Monday that both the far right National Rally (RN) party and the left-wing New Popular Front coalition - front runners in the parliamentary election- risked bringing "civil war" to France.

Macron told the podcast "Generation Do It Yourself" that the manifesto of the RN party - which election pollsters put in first place - and their solutions to deal with fears over crime and immigration were based upon "stigmatisation or division".

"I think that the solutions given by the far right are out of the question, because it is categorising people in terms of their religion or origins and that is why it leads to division and to civil war," he told the podcast.

Macron made the same criticism of the France Unbowed (LFI) extreme left-wing party, which forms part of the New Popular Front coalition.

"But that one as well, there is a civil war behind that because you are solely categorising people in terms of their religious outlook or the community they belong to, which in a way is a means of justifying isolating them from the broader national community and in this case, you would have a civil war with those who do not share those same values," said Macron.

Asked to respond to Macron's civil war comments, RN president Jordan Bardella - seen as a possible prime minister if the RN wins the most votes in the election - replied to M6 TV: "A President should not say that."

France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon also slammed Macron's comments in an interview with France 2 TV, saying it was Macron's own policies that were bringing about civil unrest, such as in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia.

(Reporting by Bertrand Boucey and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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