The first round of the French elections saw the unlikely pair of far-right Marine Le Pen of the Front National and centrist pro-European Emmanuel Macron move to the final round and battle it out for the French Presidency.
Le Pen’s strong showing has rattled the European establishment since a final win for Le Pen could mean the end of the European Union. Le Pen has fought on the familiar anti-immigration platform which saw Britain leave the European Union and now fears grow for a ‘Frexit’.
Politicians in Greece were quick to congratulate Macron and offer their support to the moderate voice in this extraordinary election round which saw the main party representatives thrown out of the race.
“What is important is to unite democratic forces to defeat the far-right Le Pen, which means a vote in favour of the [centrist] Macron by those who have reservations or disagreements with parts of his program and already this seems to be happening,” said SYRIZA MEP and European Parliament Vice-President Dimitris Papadimoulis.
New Democracy Leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the win of centrist Macron in this first round of the French presidential elections tweeting calling it a win of the liberal forces over the left-wing and right-wing populism.
“Macron’s win is the response of the liberal forces of logic over the attack by the left and right populism,” he said.
“Macron must be supported to isolate Le Pen.The extreme-right must not prevail in France. It will be a loss for democracy and for Europe,” said Democratic Left’s leader Thanasis Theoharopoulos.
“The high percentages received by the far-right and anti-European candidacy of Marine Le Pen, with the racist views, is particularly worrying for France and all of Europe,” he added
Adding her support to Macron was also PASOK leader and head of the Democratic Coalition Fofi Giannimata.
“I congratulate Emmanuel Macron for the result he achieved in the first round. We all support the battle he will give for the French Presidency against the far-right candidate,” she said.
Finally Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis expressed relief at the initial win of Macron, saying populists and anti-Europeans lost. “Sigh of relief. Macron is first. Fascists, populists and anti-Europeans can sleep hugging each other and cry together,” he commented on Twitter.