Éric Zemmour is a French journalist, author and debater who has made himself known for controversial initiatives. He was born in 1958 in Montreuil, west of Paris. His parents were Algerian-French Jews who left Algeria when the Algerian war of independence against France broke out.
Zemmour is basically a journalist. Between 1996 and 2021, he worked at Le Figaro, one of France’s largest newspapers. After the turn of the millennium, he also began to write books and participate in television and radio programs, where he made himself known as a sharp and reactionary debater on issues of immigration, Islam and feminism.
He was mentioned for a long time as a possible right-wing candidate in the 2022 presidential election. In the autumn of 2021, he traveled around France to launch his book “France has not said the last word”, which was likened to a kind of campaign. On November 30, he announced that he was running in the election and shortly afterwards he launched his party “Reconquest”.
Politically, he describes himself as both a Gaullist and a Bonapartist – in the same spirit as President Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). He has also disputed the history of Philippe Pétain, the leader of the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazi occupying forces during World War II.
The electoral program proposes a substantial restriction on France’s reception of refugees and migrants. Lower taxes as well as higher wages and pensions are also promised, which will be paid for by stopping social support for “non-European foreigners”.
Zemmour has three children with a wife whom he married in 1982. In January 2021, he announced that he had begun a relationship with his election campaign manager Sarah Knafo.
Marc-Etienne Lansade walks back and forth in the corridors of Cogolin City Hall and talks on the phone. On the phone, he has a fellow politician who has also taken the sensitive step from Le Pen to Zemmour.
They have a lot to talk about, the day after almost the entire top echelon of Marine Le Pen’s party National Assembly (RN, formerly the National Front) came to Cogolin, a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, for a rallied campaign rally.
– We can only laugh at that. They came here to punish me, says Mayor Lansade.
100 percent right
Several of Le Pen’s closest attacked Marc-Etienne Lansade at last night’s meeting. It has been five years since he left their party, but they still counted on his vote, which could have been decisive for Marine Le Pen’s participation in the election.
Candidates must receive formal approval from at least 500 elected representatives, and in February Le Pen put her entire campaign on hold as she was in desperate need of a few more. That was when the mayor of Cogolin declared his support for Éric Zemmour.
– Of course, I was disappointed in them too, for many years, says Lansade.
– The problem with RN is that if you do not follow the leader 100 percent, if you differ five or ten percent, they just say “fuck you”.
Marc-Etienne Lansade is close to Le Pen’s niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. She emerged as a young shooting star in RN a few years ago, but some disagreements led to a breakup. In early March, the niece went hand in hand with Éric Zemmour on a campaign stage in Toulon, in a statement of support that Marine Le Pen described as difficult to digest on a personal level.
Mayor Lansade describes himself as “100 percent right”. In addition to very conservative ideals, he believes that taxes in France are far too high.
– RN has said for several years that they are neither right nor left, so Éric Zemmour is what I and many others have been waiting for.
Selected and flown in
When Marc-Etienne Lansade was elected mayor in 2014, he was one of a dozen newly elected “frontists” who would show France that the fringe party was ready to be involved and decide. He had been selected by Marine Le Pen’s immediate staff, with no previous affiliation with Cogolin.
One of the first things Lansade did was to have excavators evict a migrant camp, live on the municipality’s social media. Later, he was a vocal advocate of a ban on the burkini swimwear on French beaches. An attempt to name a parking lot after the national romantic and anti-Semitic author Maurice Barrès met with opposition and was dropped.
Éric Zemmour stepped into the political hot air with provocative proposals and radical proposals to “recapture” France. Parallels were quickly drawn to US former President Donald Trump.
Zemmour highlighted the far-right conspiracy theory of “the great exchange of peoples”, which states that a political elite wants to replace the people of France and Europe with migrating Muslims. He then proposed a ban on “non-French” names of newborns. In January, he was fined after describing unaccompanied refugee children as “thieves, murderers and rapists”.
When interest began to cool, he proposed a “return ministry.”
– What I like is that he opens his arms to people who want to be part of the French family. And closes it for people who want to change it or take what they have left with them, says Marc-Etienne Lansade.
Can take each other out
The mayor of Cogolin agrees with Éric Zemmour on every issue. What is the place of Islam in today’s France? Quick and abrupt answer: “None”. He adds that sex and sexuality are also private matters, “everything else is decadent”. When it comes to the alleged exchange of peoples, it is “just looking at reality, at who dies and who is born”.
At RN’s election meeting, one of Marine Le Pen’s spokespersons tells TT that Zemmour is only running in the election to “kill” Le Pen’s candidacy. In any case, there is a risk that they will follow the same voters and that none of them will receive sufficient support in the first round of the election.
Éric Zemmour’s support is failing in the polls, while Le Pen is slowly establishing himself behind President Macron. Marc-Etienne Lansade questions both media reporting and surveys and claims that they only show what the “system” wants people to vote for.
Zemmour has vacationed a lot in the area around Cogolin. In February, he came to visit to personally thank the mayor for his support.
– People may think that he says things because he is running in the election, but he is not in any way the guy he is. This positive and open-minded person is someone I am proud to follow, says Lansade.
Source: nyheter24.se by nyheter24.se.
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