Sunday 11 December 2016

ECB policy is playing a part in the rise of Le Pen's FN in France

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

Vice-President of the French far-right Front National (FN) party and candidate for the regional elections in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, Marion Marechal Le Pen
Vice-President of the French far-right Front National (FN) party and candidate for the regional elections in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, Marion Marechal Le Pen
Marine Le Pen

In Europe over the past few days, two seismic events have happened which are related but at first glance appear not to be. First, Mario Draghi, the Italian man who, as president of the ECB, controls your money, said that he would keep printing cash for as long at it takes to get prices in Europe to rise. In Europe, prices have been falling or rising very modestly. This is because the economy is weak, unemployment is high and debts are steep.

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The second event was the huge success of Marine Le Pen's Front National (FN) in the French regional elections. It won 28pc of the national vote, its best performance yet. Strikingly, Madame Le Pen gained 40pc of the vote in Nord-Pas de Calais. (Hopefully, Ireland will be based in this region for Euro 2016, as it is the region closest to us and the easiest to reach.)

What might French - and by extension European - politics look like by the time the hoards of us arrive with our inflatable leprechauns, sun-burned faces and stretched overdrafts?

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