France must not ‘fall into the hands of the National Front’: PM
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday that nuclear-armed France must not fall into the hands of the National Front, during an interview on Portuguese TV.
“France has nuclear weapons, it is out of the question that this country falls into the hands of the National Front,” said the prime minister, who is on an official visit to Lisbon, in response to a question about the rise of the far right party.
Valls accused the party’s candidates of holding “anti-Semitic, racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic and sexists views” in the interview aired Friday night.
The prime minister denounced the party’s “anti-European stance that seeks to divide and always makes immigrants and Muslims the scapegoat” and “can destroy French society”.
France’s local elections at the end of March showed a marked rise in support for the National Front and a decline for the ruling Socialist Party, which has also taken a hit in other recent elections.
“The left… is not dying,” said Valls. “Its ideas, values, its drive to fight injustice remain a magnificent project.”
“But its political structures can die, can be swept away… by the rise of the extreme right in France,” he cautioned.
“The French political landscape has been turned upside down and we must take that into account,” he added.
“We have to fight to push back the extreme right. And we can only do that if we are united, if we proudly promote our values, and if we get results.”