As the runoff round of the French presidential election approaches, the only hope for Sarkozy who was trailing Hollande by a 9-10 point margin was that right winger Marine Le Pen would endorse his candidacy. If at all, she was expected to do so this morning. She did not. Instead, she told her followers to cast a blank vote, in essence cementing the fate of Sarkozy, and setting France and Germany on a big showdown over the fate of the fiscal union, and Europe's austerity. Of course, this is for the cameras. What happens behind is quite different, and usually coincides with the wishes of he, or in this case she, who pays the bills. Yet it was her assessment of the "choice" presented to the French people that was very much dead on: "Who out of Nicolas Sarkozy or Francois Hollande will be most subservient when carrying out austerity politics? Who will obey to the letter the orders of the troika: the IMF, ECB, European Commission?" It is he who shall be elected.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen told supporters on Tuesday that she would cast a blank vote in a presidential runoff between the mainstream right and left but said she would not advise them on how to vote.
Le Pen, whose surprise 17.9 percent score in an April 22 first-round vote has made her supporters key for Sunday's runoff between Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande and conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, said she could back neither of them.
"On Sunday, I will vote blank," she told the National Front's annual "Joan of Arc Day" rally, a nationalistic display of patriotism where she had been expected to make a second-round voting recommendation. "I have made my choice. Each of you will make yours."
And the kicker from Euronews:
Le Pen rounded on both candidates in her speech on Tuesday:
Who out of Nicolas Sarkozy or Francois Hollande will be most subservient when carrying out austerity politics? Who will obey to the letter the orders of the troika: the IMF, ECB, European Commission?
“On the 6th May, it will not a president who will be elected but a simple worker of the European Central Bank,” cried Le Pen to cheers from the crowd.
An oddly spot on assessment.