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French presidential election – Electric atmosphere at the first meeting of Eric Zemmour
– Electric atmosphere at Eric Zemmour’s first meeting
Several thousand supporters attended the first campaign rally meant to demonstrate the strength of the far-right candidate’s candidacy.
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Waving French flags, shouting “Zemmour president!”, Thousands of people gathered on Sunday in the Paris region for the first meeting of the new far-right presidential candidate, Eric Zemmour.
The atmosphere became electrified as the candidate waited for the arrival, in front of 13,000 people gathered, according to the organizers, in the huge hall of the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte, in the north of Paris. where 15,000 supporters were expected.
A few minutes before the candidate’s speech, all the chairs of the some 12,000 installed in the huge hall were not occupied, AFP noted. A twenty-minute clip retracing the last months of Eric Zemmour’s literary tour and his main statements was screened before the arrival of the candidate.
Journalists on a TV show known for its scathing and ironic tone were booed by the audience, AFP noted.
An important security device was deployed around the place of the meeting, and more than a hundred anti-Zemmour demonstrators, protesting against the candidate’s “racism, negationism, homophobia” were dispersed by the forces of the ‘order.
Eric Zemmour, 63-year-old former polemicist and television columnist, threw himself into the presidential race after months of false suspense, claiming to want to “save France” and its values threatened by immigration and Islam. .
“Love of France”
Wrapped up in a fur coat, Maria, a retired accountant who lives in the Paris region, explains with a singing Polish accent that she supports Zemmour to fight against the “Great Replacement”, the theory according to which African and Muslim populations will replace the European peoples.
“In my street, we only speak Arabic. We must safeguard our traditions, not be overwhelmed by Muslim culture, ”says this Polish woman who arrived in France at the age of 20,“ French by marriage ”,“ refugee from a communist country ”, and who“ integrated without anything. claim”.
“He has a love for France that I do not feel in other candidates,” says François, chief financial officer in a start-up. “He has strong convictions and is not formatted,” he adds, “not in the least shocked” by the court convictions of Mr. Zemmour for inciting racial and religious hatred.
Show of strength
The Villepinte meeting is held five days after an announcement of the tumultuous candidacy of the former polemicist, whose official slogan unveiled on Saturday is: “Impossible is not French”, an expression attributed to Napoleon.
Mr. Zemmour intends to make a show of force to prove that he has made his “transformation” from a former televised pamphleteer into a credible candidate, likely to challenge the outgoing President Emmanuel Macron and to capture the voices of the right, led by Valérie Pécresse , and the extreme right of Marine Le Pen.
Initially planned in a Parisian hall, the gathering was moved to Villepinte due to “the craze” but also for security reasons, an anti-fascist demonstration having been planned in Paris. A few hundred people demonstrated in the capital to denounce the candidate’s speech in their “racist” eyes, with cries of “Zemmour break you, Paris is not yours”.
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The Villepinte rally is carefully scrutinized, given the astonishing and controversial career of Eric Zemmour, who has made a dazzling breakthrough in the polls since the start of the school year. Some even qualified him in the second round ahead of Marine Le Pen. But his star has seemed to fade in recent weeks, and from slippages to provocations, the candidate has lost support and points in voting intentions. To support him are present at the meeting the leaders of two small identity parties and the traditional Catholic right rallied to Mr. Zemmour.
The Villepinte meeting took place the day after the nomination of the candidate of the Republican right (LR), Valérie Pécresse, president of the Paris region who won in front of the very right-hander Eric Ciotti, sometimes close to the theses of Mr. Zemmour .