France's Minister for Economy and Finances Bruno Le Maire. EPA-EFE/Teresa Suarez


French finance minister Le Maire says hard-left LFI is ‘danger to the nation’


French finance minister Bruno Le Maire does not want voters to support the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI) party.

Speaking on July 1, he said he would not advocate such “even if this were the only way” to prevent a candidate from Marine Le Pen’s hard-right National Rally (RN) party from winning in the ongoing general election.

Le Maire described the LFI as “a danger to the nation” in an interview with France Inter radio.

While he would encourage voters to elect candidates from other left-wing parties in districts where a centrist candidate withdrew, he would “never” ask for a vote for LFI, which he said he considered a violent, reactionary and anti-Semitic group.

The RN obtained the best results in its history by winning the first round of the French elections on June 30.

Still, reaching an absolute majority in the National Assembly (289 seats) will likely depend on the formation of alliances in the days leading up to the second round on July 7.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for “a clearly democratic and republican broad union” against the Right in the second round, according to the AFP news agency.

For the time being, the presidential coalition has asked candidates who came third in the first round to withdraw “in favour of candidates [from other parties] who are in a position to defeat RN and with whom we share the essential: The values of the Republic”.