EUrabia’s polit-props are Â petrified of the “Arab Revolution” Â and desperately try to avoid any talk about the continuing Mohammedan invasion. “Super Sarko” is no different, he managed to disappoint everyone. Marine Le Pen is the new star in French politics.
For the far left enemedia, the “far-right” smears are obligatory. Ignore them.
Marine Le Pen, France’s popular new far-right leader, threw down the gauntlet to President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday by taking her anti-immigration campaign to the frontline Italian island of Lampedusa.
The National Front (FN) leader, who is ahead of Mr Sarkozy in polls for next year’s presidential election, said Europe risked being swamped by North African boat people.
“Europe can’t welcome everyone . . . We would be pleased to take them all in our boat, but it’s not big enough. We’ll all go to the bottom. We would be adding one misery to another,” she said.
Since taking over the National Front from her father, Jean-Marie, in January, Ms Le Pen, 42, has been garnering support at Mr Sarkozy’s expense, her anti-immigrant stance powering her to a lead over her rivals in the two-step presidential race. One survey found that she would win 24 per cent of the vote, a point ahead of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF chief who is the strongest candidate for the opposition Socialists. The centre-right Mr Sarkozy polled third with 20 per cent.
The poll jolted France’s political establishment by raising the prospect that she could make it to the run-off in May next year, repeating her father’s feat in the 2002 presidential election when he beat the Socialist Lionel Jospin in the first round.
The once “Super Sarko”, whose popularity is at a record low, has reacted by tacking to the right, even though some of his party say the move will backfire by legitimising the FN.
On the eve of Ms Le Pen’s Lampedusa trip, Mr Sarkozy called for camps to be set up in Egypt and Tunisia to hold people fleeing the fighting in Libya.
“Veil Ban Dangerous”
Patrick Devedjian, a former minister, advised the President to scrap a national debate that he has called on the place of Islam in France. The debate is to open at town halls next month, coinciding with the introduction of France’s law banning Muslim women from wearing veils. “It’s dangerous,” Mr Devedjian said. Last week, legislators forced Mr Sarkozy to drop a bill, announced amid great fanfare after a gunfight in Grenoble in July, that would strip recent immigrants who attacked police of their French citizenship.
Ms Le Pen insisted her trip to Lampedusa was not electioneering, but simply a fact-finding mission. She arrived on the rocky outcrop in the Mediterranean as hundreds more migrants came ashore from Tunisia, 140km away. “Instead of welcoming them, Italy should send ships with food and water and help the migrants at sea so they don’t land on the island,” Ms Le Pen said.
She travelled to Lampedusa with Mario Borghezio, an MEP from the Italian anti-immigrant Northern League. They were welcomed by the island’s mayor, Bernardino De Rubeis, who represents an Italian affiliate of the Northern League called the Autonomy Movement. The group dodged protesters with banners that read: “You are not welcome here, Madame Le Pen” and “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — also for the undocumented”.
(“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — also for the undocumented”? Funny that. There is nothing in the Koran about LEF, but last time I checked it still said “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them. And that verse has not been abrogated, or does Bernardino De Rubeis know something we don’t know?)
At the reception centre, Ms Le Pen spoke to a Somali immigrant who works there as a volunteer. The Somali told her most of the immigrants were in their 20s and 30s and wanted to get to France because they had relatives there, Mr Borghezio said.
The number of arrivals in Lampedusa since the Tunisian revolt in January has reached almost 9000 — double the total for last year. International officials have said that up to 1.5 million people in North Africa might try to enter Europe. Italian prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into the thousands of immigrants in Lampedusa who face charges of illegal immigration, a punishable offence in Italy.
- “Ich habe viel MitgefÃ¼hl mit Ihnen, aber Europa hat nicht mehr die finanziellen Mittel, sie aufzunehmen.“
(I sympathize with you, but Europe no longer has the financial means to accommodate you….)
- Sarkozy on a loser aping the far rightThe Australian,Â 7 days ago
- French far-right spooks rivals in pollHerald Sun,Â 7 days ago
- Poll finds Le Pen could be French PMThe Australian,Â 8 days ago
- Coast guard accused over boat deathsCourier Mail,Â 15 Feb 2011
- Tunisians flee in boatloads to ItalyThe Australian,Â 14 Feb 2011