Within the family of extreme right-wing European parties, the National Front is an exception with its well-marked economic program on the left.
Among the 144 points of the program unveiled on February 4, the economy is high on the list, and the state is at the center of everything: “plan of re-industrialization”, “intelligent protectionism”, public orders reserved for French companies, Foreign investment control “,” secretariat of state for economic change”, banks forced to lend to SMEs, etc.
Not to mention flagship measures such as the return of retirement at age 60, the classic tax boost for low wages, and the hiring of thousands of civil servants.
From the Poujadist FN of the South to the FN Ouvrier du Nord
The least that can be said is that the FN stands out from its European allies. In Germany, the extreme right-wing new fashion of the AfD claims its attachment to the market economy. In the Netherlands , Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom, a favorite for the 15 March parliamentary elections, is also one of this trend, as are the British UKIP, Austrian FPÖ and the Italian Northern League. Each to varying degrees, but they look in the direction of the free market.
Historically, the roots of the National Front have drawn on Poujadism, the political movement that gave Jean-Marie Le Pen his first term as deputy in 1956. His watchword: the defense of artisans and small traders, Anti parliamentarism. Reduce taxes, and everything will be fine.
Like Poujadism, the stronghold of the National Front has long been the south of France. In 1995, the first successes in municipal elections were in the PACA region, in Orange, Toulon and Marignane. In 2014, 10 of the 14 cities won also. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, regional councilor in PACA, is the best current incarnation of this historical FN.
In the meantime, Marine Le Pen has flourished on the workers’ vote in the North of France. A municipal councilor in Hénin-Beaumont since 2008, she led in 2015 in the first round of regional elections in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. National Front vice-president Florian Philippot also does well in the Great East.
Now well established as a favorite party of the workers, the FN assumes without hesitation to draw references in the communist heritage.
“Mélenchon pretends to defend the workers, it is false, I protect them by opposing immigration which lowers the wages of French workers.” Said Marine Le Pen in a 2012 interview at the Geneva Tribune .