French ‘yellow’ list for the EU elections strikes alliance with far-right MEP Philippot

Florian Phillipot, leader of far-right party Les Patriotes and former right hand of Marine Le Pen in the National Front. [EPA/MATHIEU CUGNOT]

Jean-François Barnaba, who leads the ‘Jaunes et citoyens’ list in France, is striking an alliance with ‘Les Patriotes’, the far-right party of former Le Pen ally Florian Phillipot. Both want France to leave the European Union and drop the euro. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.

One month after announcing the creation of the list “jaunes et citoyens” (yellow and citizens) for the European elections, ‘gilet jaune’ Jean-François Barnaba finally gave up running alone in the EU elections in May.

He announced on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning his alliance with Florian Phillipot, leader of far-right party Les Patriotes and former right hand of Marine Le Pen in the National Front.

“With Florian Phillipot, we reached a common approach. Our movements share the demands for increased purchasing power, direct democracy, fiscal and social justice, as well as that for leaving the EU and dropping the euro. We have decided to unite forces by having a common list,” Barnaba explained.

This joint list, drafted last Thursday (30 April), was submitted to the French Interior Minister in the afternoon of 2 May.

But the ‘gilets jaunes’ do not have many spots on the list. “We will not be many. We did not have much time for negotiations. I myself will be ninth,” said Barnaba.

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The Swedish far-right party, the Sweden Democrats, is no longer calling for the country to leave the EU and it is not the only one. Several European populist parties have backtracked on this issue. EURACTIV France reports.

“The only possible alternative”

The territorial civil servant, who has been without an assignment since 2008 but earns €2,600 every month from the Indre Civil Service in Central France, confessed that he wants to lead the “Jaune et citoyens” list independently to Strasbourg and Brussels.

“We have done everything we could to cross the ‘money wall’, but the system has done everything to stop us. We lost our source of funding. The fusion with Florian Philippot was therefore imposed. Of course, not all my co-candidates are pleased with this result but it was the only possible alternative,” said Barnaba.

He said the fusion of both lists does not automatically mean the fusion of both movements.

“We partnered up for these European elections. But for future elections, notably the municipal ones in March 2020, “Jaunes et citoyens” could strike an alliance with other movements. Emmanuel Macron unified the right and the left for the rich. We will do the same for the poor,” he said.

Increasing number of ‘yellow vest’ lists for European elections

With the announcement of a third ‘yellow vest’ list for the European elections, the movement seems to be divided. However, it has managed to make taxation one of the central issues of the May 2019 vote for French people. EURACTIV France reports.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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