Bannon to France's Far Right National Party: 'History Is on Our Side'

11 March, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Kim Reid
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He will address France's right-wing National Front and meet its leader Marine Le Pen after similar meetings in Italy and Switzerland.

"Bannon, former strategic advisor to USA president, represents rejection of the establishment of which one of the worst symbols is Brussels's EU".

His European tour centered on last weekend's Italian election, which Bannon called "an earthquake" after populist and anti-immigration parties outperformed traditional parties.

Nine months after Le Pen was defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron for president in a bruising battle between nationalists and globalists, the FN is struggling to rebound.

A new name, a new leadership structure and new bylaws are being unveiled at the two-day congress with the hope of making the party relevant again.

From his travels, Bannon said he is now certain "history is on our side". "He has understood like Trump, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen the wish of the people to control their own destiny", he tweeted.

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Head of the far-right National Front party Marine Le Pen attends a session of questions to the government at the French National Assembly in Paris on March 6, 2018.

Party members supported legalised euthanasia, which Le Pen opposes, favour of gay marriage and are against the death penalty, she said.

At the conference in Lille, in the FN's northern heartlands, Le Pen will urge the party to move away from the mindset of being a permanent opposition, ground it has occupied since it was founded, to broadening its appeal with a view to governing.

"We're at a turning point. don't bury us", she said in an interview with France's Le Figaro newspaper published Friday.

Jean-Marie Le Pen said that in losing heavily to Macron his daughter had "not been equal to the challenge" - a sentiment echoed by many FN members.

However, Len Pen's credibility is among the potential obstacles to a possible far-right comeback. "It validates the party line of neither right nor left".

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She also fell out with her former right-hand man Florian Philippot, who went on to form the rival Patriots party. The outcome has boosted far-right movements across Europe and was seen as a victory for the forces that elected Trump and voter approval for Britain to leave the European Union.

The weekend congress is expected to erase one persistent problem for Le Pen - her unpredictable, bombastic father - by eliminating his title of honorary president-for-life from party statutes.

Le Pen defended inviting Bannon, saying party members should listen to "the architect of Donald Trump's victory" in 2016.

After threatening to crash the congress, with armed guards if necessary, the elder Le Pen said he would skip it.

But Bannon might have threatened Le Pen's makeover with his compliments for an extreme version of the National Front and lavish praise for Le Pen's more hard-line niece and rival.

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