Jean-Marie Le Pen Hopes to be Europe's Donald Trump
It is the seventh day after Donald Trump's triumph, an election upset that set off a political earthquake around the world, and time for a visit with those far away from Washington who think like him. Members of France's Front National (FN) are meeting at the five-star Hotel Napoléon in Paris, not far from the Champs-Élysées.
The topics of discussion this evening include disadvantaged youth in the outer districts of the capital, known as the banlieues, and radical Islamists who are recruiting new members there. The mood is explosive in the banlieues, warns the speaker, a resolute blonde woman, who goes on to say it is a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment. "I am the only one who can defuse this bomb," she adds.
Her words are met with cheers and applause. Marine Le Pen has struck the right note, once again. Here, in the stuffy conference room at the Hotel Napoléon, people want to hear what they have long believed: That Islam constitutes a threat and that France's very future is on the line. Marine, the daughter of Front National co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been the head of her party for almost six years.
'We Want To Destroy this EU'
The Frenchwoman will soon enter the presidential election campaign under the slogan "Marine 2017." Within a few years, she has managed to garner the support of like-minded individuals, and not just in her native France. Le Pen also chairs the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group in the European Parliament. ENF brings together elected representatives from nine countries, people who share an unmistakable common goal. "We want to destroy this EU," says Le Pen.
Less than two weeks after the election of the new US president, Europe's anti-establishment parties are feeling the wind in their sails. "A Trump victory was considered unthinkable," says Le Pen, who sent the billionaire her euphoric congratulatory message on Twitter on the night of the election. "Our life has changed,"