According to a recent poll and reported on by Reuters, one fifth of French believe that the nationalist Marine Le Pen would do a better job at handling the COVID-19 crisis than Macron.
Only 20% of French people think far-right leader Marine Le Pen would handle the coronavirus crisis better than President Emmanuel Macron, according to an opinion poll for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper published on Sunday.
Macron’s government has faced criticism for flip-flopping messages on whether, when and where citizens should wear masks, for failing to replenish the stock of masks before the crisis and for carrying out far fewer tests than neighbouring Germany.
Le Pen in particular has relentlessly criticised the government, saying ministers had lied about “absolutely everything”.
But she has so far failed to convince a majority of the public she would do a better job than Macron. Some 41% thought she would do worse, while 39% thought she would do neither better nor worse, according to the Ifop poll.
None of the public figures tested in the poll were thought to be able to do a better job than Macron by a majority of the French.
Twenty percent thought former president Nicolas Sarkozy would handle the crisis better, 15% thought left-wing firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon would, and only 8% thought former Socialist leader Francois Hollande would do a better job. (source)
The fact that the French are looking at Le Pen with admiration and interest over this COVID-19 issue is just another sign that nationalism is very much alive in France. Far from disappearing it has only grown in strength, and as the crisis worsens, there is a strong chance that nationalism will grow in proportion to it. Eventually, it will likely take the form of militaristic calls against those “responsible” for causing the declining conditions in Europe, of which a main target will be migrants and anybody who does not look “European”.
This is a warning for all people in Europe who are not ethnically French as well- there is a major current of racism and violence moving, and right now is the time to leave France. This is not cowardice, but rather acknowledging that where there is smoke there is fire, and once this fire starts to burn stronger, it will not be able to be stopped and there may not be a way to escape it.
Get out while one is still able to leave.