A group statement on the first round of the French election by GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer:
“On behalf of GUE/NGL, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his team on this campaign and the big success in the first-round vote. Jean-Luc ran a most engaging and modern campaign which enlightened the electorate by standing up for democracy, social and workers’ rights and a sustainable development. This way, he directly addressed the hopes of the younger generation who had been failed by years of austerity and neglect.
“The result from the first round has clearly shown the level of discontent voters have towards the established parties and their neoliberal policies. The French electorate has been demanding change but the big governing parties have been failing them for years. Such discontent should have been a rallying call for the voters over the importance of a Social Europe – a Europe for all those who have been left behind by years of austerity, neoliberal policies and social neglect. But since the ruling elite continue to ignore voters’ concerns, this allowed Marine Le Pen and her likes to abuse this fear and frustration in order to sow hatred, division, fear and lies through xenophobic and Islamaphobic rhetoric.
“Furthermore, by branding any criticism of the EU´s current status – such as Jean-Luc´s – as being hostile towards the EU, the big governing parties have clearly demonstrated that they do not want to have any debate about another EU or another Europe. We want a social and democratic EU which protects people from the big banks and corporations; an EU which respects human and social rights; and where people come before profits. For as long as the ruling elites continue to block any alternatives to the current neoliberal status quo, EU citizens’ trust in the European project will only be further eroded.”