Vatnik Soup
Soup number135
Date26.03.2023
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Vatnik’s professionPolitician
Vatnik’s country of originFrance
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Marine Le Pen

In today’s #vatniksoup I’ll introduce a French lawyer and politician, Marine Le Pen. She’s best-known for her attempts at becoming the president of France and for her connections to the European far-right movement and to Vladimir Putin.

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Le Pen’s political career started as early as 1986, when she joined the National Front (later the National Rally, RN) party, a party found by his father Jean-Marie Le Pen. After becoming the party’s leader in 2011, she started a “de-demonization campaign” to clean the...

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...party’s image of being anti-globalist, racist and anti-Semitic. The re-branded party was part of the European “far-right” bloc, led by Le Pen, Italian Matteo Salvini, and Dutch Geert Wilders.

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Even though Le Pen has softened the party’s views on same-sex marriage, abortion and the death sentence, it still supports strong stance on anti-immigration, nationalism and protectionism.

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This resonates strongly with former president Trump’s politics, and Trump actually endorsed Le Pen during her presidential campaign and vice versa. During the 2016 US election, Le Pen said that “For France, anything is better than Hillary Clinton”.

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In 2010 Le Pen compared the public Muslim prayers with the Nazi occupation of France during WW2, calling it an “occupation”. Her statement was criticized by various political figures and human rights organizations, ...

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..but as was tradition at the time, this only increased her popularity among the common folk. Before the 2017 presidential election, RN had difficulties in finding funding for Le Pen’s presidential campaign in France - many French banks refused to provide the party any credit.7/17
Instead in 2014, the party took a 9 million EUR loan from Czech-Russian bank, despite the EU sanctions placed on Russia after the illegal annexation of Crimea. Later in 2016 they applied for another Russian loan of 27 million EUR, but they were refused.

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Now the 2014 loan thing is a BIG mess and way too complicated to describe in a Twitter thread, but I suggest reading this fantastic WaPo article by Paul Sonne (@PaulSonne) from: washingtonpost.com/world/national…

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In 2017 Le Pen met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and according to an aide of RN, Putin wished her “good luck” for the upcoming election. During the same year, she stated that the concerns that Putin was a threat to Europe were a “big scam”.

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In a 2017 interview she also claimed that if elected, she’d attempt to swiftly lift EU sanctions imposed on Russia over the annexation of Crimea. “It’s now the world of Putin, the world of Donald Trump”, she continued.

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Naturally she went on and accused the US and NATO for threatening Russia by arming the countries along their borders. Then she continued with a Mearsheimer classic: “Ukraine is part of Russia’s sphere of influence, it’s a fact”.

After the Russian interference in the 2016...12/17
... US election, she denied any wrongdoing by Russia, saying that “it hasn’t led any campaigns against European counties, or against the US”. In the same interview she claimed that Russia’s intervention in Syria had been good thing and improved overall global security.

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Le Pen was part of the big group who still in early February 2022, believed that Putin wouldn’t invade Ukraine. After it happened, she condemned the full-scale invasion harshly, saying that the attack is “a clear violation of international law and absolutely indefensible”.

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She also said that the allegations about her being close to Putin are “unfair”. Finally, she suggested that “the Vladimir Putin of five years ago is not exactly that of today”, which is - pardon my French - a fucking lie.

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Putin’s been the same since he rose to power in 1999. He bombed his own people to start the 2nd Chechen War, invaded Georgia, bombed Syrian civilians and hospitals and has been invading and conducting genocide in Ukraine since 2014.

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In addition, he’s been trying to assassinate people with nerve agents and radioactive substances around Europe, sometimes successfully. So Le Pen was either gullible, uninformed or had an agenda to keep supporting Putin, and I don’t know which of these options is the worst.
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