François Fillon, Pro-Russian Thatcherite, Wins First Round of French Right-Wing Primary, over Atlanticist Alain Juppé
PARIS, Nov. 21, 2016 (Nouvelle Solidarité)—Taking the pollsters and media by surprise, once again, François Fillon, who was running third in the center and right-wing French Presidential primaries, won the first round of the primary by a landslide this weekend. Fillon got 43%, Alain Juppé 26%, and Sarkozy 21%. So, Sarkozy is out, and Fillon will, in all likelihood, be elected on the second round of the primaries of their party, Les Républicains.
In a different way, there are striking similarities with the Trump election. Fillon is a friend of Putin, has been invited to the Valdai Club several times, and has attended the St. Petersburg forum several times. A cold-headed individual, he has nonetheless steadily called for collaboration with Russia overall, and in the Middle East in particular.
His performance blocked the election of Alain Juppé, a kind of right-wing version of the Socialists’ Hollande, whom the NATO establishment seemed to have been betting on.
Another similarity is that Fillon got the right-wing Catholics highly mobilized against gay marriage, voted for by the Socialists, and is against radical Islam. Fillon is promising to roll back the gay marriage law.
Besides that, however, there is no attempt by Fillon to paint himself as Roosevelt; quite the contrary. All these right-wing candidates are running on thoroughly neoliberal platforms. Fillon is the worst of them, running on an explicitly "Thatcherite" policy, promising to lay off 500-600,000 public workers, and to implement €100-€120 billion in budget cuts.