Eric Zemmour: The far-right figure using outrage to fuel a bid for the French presidency

A facility for saying the unspeakable on TV is looking as if it won’t be enough to break through even the volatile French electoral system, writes John Rentoul

Sunday 05 December 2021 21:30
<p>Eric Zemmour, speaking in London last month </p>

Eric Zemmour, speaking in London last month

France is a foreign country; they do politics differently there. For all that he has been compared to Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, Eric Zemmour, the latest French presidential candidate to cause a stir, is in a category of his own.

What makes Zemmour – who has formally announced that he will be a candidate for the French presidential election in April – different from even Nigel Farage, though, is that he goes full “clash of civilisations”, endorsing the idea of inevitable conflict between Christian and Islamic cultures. He does not want merely to “control” immigration; he thinks the immigration of Muslims will lead to civil war and to the obliteration of the French nation.

He was explicit in an interview given on his visit to London last month, telling the British: “You are suffering the same demographic pressure from another civilisation that wants to replace the European white man of Christian religion and Greco-Roman culture, and you also have elites complicit in this invasion.”

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