By criss-crossing the Pas-de-Calais mining basin, Emmanuel Macron could not find a better symbol to assert his opposition to the National Front. In this region hard hit by industrial crises, where scores of FN are among the highest in the country , the candidate of “En Marche!” (Forward!) has defended his program. “This progressive project is above all a bulwark to a party that harms hatred, exclusion and retreat, whether on the Internet or on the ground, to stir up fears, use them and divide society,” he told Nœux-les-Mines, a mining town undergoing renovation
In a statement to the media, he then addressed the electors of the FN directly. “The FN of the north is secular and gives lessons. The FN of the south is an ultra-Catholic party and Conservative “, denounced Emmanuel Macron while indicating that he respected all those who voted for the National Front.
Repositioning the region in the heart of France and Europe
For the former Minister of Economy, the FN vote is “the expression of anger and impatience”. In order to “re-engage” these impoverished territories, it is necessary to “rebuild on two axis, the school and the economy”, detailed Emmanuel Macron, who received a warm welcome from the inhabitants of this mining city. “It is necessary to invest in small classes in these Priority Education Areas. It is 12,000 classes that must be made (by) this differentiated effort,” he said.
Far from the protectionism advocated by Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron considered that the region, situated “in the heart of Europe”, could “live outside of globalisation”. In this former mining basin, hit hard by the collapse of the textile and steel industry, the former Minister of the Economy called for a “return of these territories in the metropolitan economies”. He mentioned the RER project between Lens and Lille, two towns about thirty kilometres away.
Emmanuel Macron also visited Hénin-Beaumont, one of the eleven cities held by the FN in France, and stronghold of Marine Le Pen. The presidential candidate awarded labor medals to employees of a food wholesaler.
The mayor of the city Steeve Briois, faithful of Marine Le Pen, called the visit of Emmanuel Macron a “dubious joke”.
“The truth is that Emmanuel Macron comes to Pas-de-Calais as some go to the safari, with the sole aim of coming back with beautiful pictures …,”