Time to END Macronism! Le Pen issues rallying cry after France brutalised and divided

Marine Le Pen before a meeting with nationalist leaders in Warsaw, Poland

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The National Rally leader released a campaign video from the Louvre, in Paris, where Emmanuel Macron celebrated his victory against Ms Le Pen in 2017. Speaking to TF1’s “Partie de campagne”, the far-right politician said “it was a symbolic way to close the parenthesis of Macronism. Macron’s policies have brutalised France”.

She added: “Mistakes make you grow, they bring you back to a form of modesty that is missing in political life. You learn lessons when you fail.”

Addressing her choice to film at the Louvre, Ms Le Pen said: “Macron started his mandate in front of the Louvre. Do you remember?

“So my video was a symbolic way of saying that we must close the parenthesis of Macronism because Emmanuel Macron’s policies have brutalised France, created chaos in our country, divided and separated the French, in order to obtain results that we are still waiting to see in terms of security, immigration, employment.”

The National Rally leader will face Mr Macron and other presidential candidates on April 10 this year.

Since 2017, Mr Macron has pushed through a cocktail of supply-side economic reforms meant to boost businesses’ competitiveness, cut taxes on investors and loosen strict labour market rules.

Critics say he has acted as “president of the rich” who wants to do away with France’s cherished social safety nets and has cut welfare benefits for some of the poorest.

But three months ahead of the April election, indicators show the French economy is booming, with growth expected to have hit 6.7 percent in 2021 and France having returned closer to pre-pandemic levels than any G7 peer bar the United States.

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Mr Macron’s supporters also received an unexpected boost from economist Paul Krugman on Friday.

“In fact, among major advanced economies, the star performer of the pandemic era, arguably, is France,” he wrote in his New York Times column.

The President will today tout 21 new foreign investment projects in France and a booming economy as proof his economic reforms have been bearing fruit less than three months before a presidential election in which he is expected to run.

During a visit to Alsace in the east, Mr Macron will announce a 300-million-euro industrial project by German chemical giant BASF, one of 21 new projects worth 4 billion euros and 10,000 jobs as part of a drive to attract foreign investors, his office said.

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US drugmaker Pfizer also announced on Monday a 520 million euros investment plan in France.

As the presidential race heats up, his aides are keen to shift the debate away from immigration and law-and-order issues and put the spotlight on the economy, which has been recovering strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the result of all the reforms that were carried out since the start of the mandate,” a presidential aide told reporters.

He added: “Three months before an election, we could have expected investors to be in wait-and-see mode because of the uncertainty of an election.

“Instead, we see very strong confidence from foreign investors in the president’s economic policy.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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