Not fooling anyone! Macron’s shameless Marseille tour amid drug ‘catastrophe’ denounced
Emmanuel Macron portrait smashed by protestors in Poitiers
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The French President began his three-day visit to Marseille on Wednesday in a bid to win over voters in the socialist-run city in the south of France. The oldest and second biggest city in the country is ridden with poverty, drug trafficking and poor public services. Mr Macron pledged to fix the many ills crippling the city before the end of his mandate.
Marseille was reportedly cleaned up before the Presidential visit.
He told residents: “Many of the things we are going to do now will not have concrete results before the end of this mandate, but my responsibility is to try to make up for the time lost with Covid.
“The idea that in some neighbourhoods it would be trendy to take drugs while in others we have young people who are being killed because they sell drugs, it’s over.
“Everyone in our country must understand that today’s drug users are in fact accomplices.
“Confidence will come back with efficiency and results, not with a speech.”
But his pledges were promptly lambasted by his opponents who accused the President of having ignored the situation in Marseille for years.
MEP Julie Lechanteux said: “We have denounced for years and years the catastrophic situation of Marseille, between drug trafficking and settling of scores.
“This visit, a few months before the presidential elections, fools no one.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon also recalled that this is not the first time that national politicians visit the city promising money, but not keeping their promises.
The president of the group of “La France Insoumise” in the National Assembly denounced the lack of coherence of the Macronist policy in the fight against arms trafficking.
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Macron will be hoping to secure a second term as France’s President next year.
Leader of the far-right National Rally, Marine Le Pen, is seen by many to be Mr Macron’s main opponent for the presidency.
According to Politico Poll of Polls, Ms Le Pen is gaining momentum in polls for 2022 presidential election voting intention.
In the 2017 election, Mr Macron earned 24 percent of first-round votes, while Ms Le Pen got 21.3 percent.
In the second round of voting, Mr Macron secured victory with 66.1 percent of the vote, with Ms Le Pen earning 33.9 percent.
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But according to Politico, Mr Macron is now polling with 24 percent of the vote in the first round, the same as his previous first-round election performance in 2017.
Ms Le Pen also polled with 24 percent of first-round votes, up from the previous 2017 election performance by 2.7 percent.
Politico polls for the second round show victory could still be on the cards for Mr Macron, however.
The poll shows 55 percent of second-round votes for Mr Macron and only 45 percent of votes for Ms Le Pen.
Although this poll suggests Mr Macron could still win the presidential election next year, the data shows Ms Le Pen is closing the gap on Mr Macron.
Along with Ms Le Pen, Mr Macron will face some new competition this year.
Last week, former European Union Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, announced his intention to run for France’s top job.
Before his long career with the European Union, Mr Barnier has held many roles in French politics.
Mr Barnier is a member of the centre-right The Republicans party.
For some time, there have been indications of Mr Barnier’s intentions to run against Mr Macron in the presidential election.
Mr Barnier set up a political faction named “Patriot and European” earlier this year.
This week, Mr Barnier told TF1, France’s most-watched TV channel: “In these grave times, I have taken the decision and have the determination to stand … and be the President of a France that is reconciled, to respect the French and have France respected.”
Mr Barnier spoke of the need to “restore the authority of the state”, along with “limit and have control over immigration”.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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