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The Nigel Farage of France

François Asselineau is the french Nigel Farage : he advocates Frexit, and says it's simple

The Brexit mess doesn’t discourage François Asselineau who keeps campaigning for a Frexit.

Considering the endless Brexit psychodrama, campaigning under the “Frexit” (French exit) banner for the next European elections seems a bit crazy.

But François Asselineau does exactly that. He likes to thing of himself as the Nigel Farage of France. His is the founder of a maverick party, the Popular Republican Union (l’Union populaire républicaine, UPR). When asked by journalists about Brexit, he answers: “Brexit? Only the media made it look bad”. He also says that Brexit is simple, the situation being complicated because of the people negotiating, who do not want Brexit.

He was educated at the National School of Administration (ENA), supposedly the political top of the pops, and worked as a senior civil servant for a number of Ministries in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Exit from UE, the Euro, NATO

His election posters bearing an appeal for Frexit are blooming again on the walls of France. The UPR’s “liberation program” has a very simple baseline : France needs to exit the EU, the euro, and NATO. Although there are loads of eurosceptic parties, UPR and the Patriots, an extreme-right micro party, are the only ones to advocate for a straightforward Frexit.

The right candidate for some Yellow Vests

The UPR had been under the radar for most of its existence since its creation in 2007, until the 2017 presidential election that brought Emmanuel Macron to power. Asselineau managed to get a decent 0,92 % of the votes at the first round, which was not a bad performance for a Mr Nobody allergic to traditional media. He also gained notoriety during this campaign and seems today to have the favors of a substantial proportion of the “Yellow Vests”.

The UPR has its own YouTube channel with counts 109 000 followers, a lot more than Marine Le Pen’s National Rally. In  long and boring videos, Asselineau lambastes Europe or Macron’s policies with strong doses of conspiracy theories.

No chance to become MEP

Fortunately enough, unlike Nigel Farage, Asselineau stands no chance of obtaining enough votes to sit in the European Parliament. Still, the polls give him between 1% and 1,5% of the votes. Isn’t that already too much for someone who has contributed to spill over the Internet the utterly absurd theory according to which the European Union was some kind of monstrous offspring of Hitlerism?

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