Thursday, June 16, 2016

The FN Between Two Stools

The Front National, as Marine Le Pen likes to say, has become the party of the French working class. But it is also a petit bourgeois party, with many members who oppose state regulation of the economy. Some in the party therefore favor neoliberal reforms like the El Khomri law currently under debate in the Senate. The FN filed a number of amendments favoring even more deregulation than the government bill proposed. But this riled others in the party, who would like to see it more involved in the "muscular" opposition to the El Khomri law currently being led by the CGT's Phillippe Martinez and the FN's arch-enemy Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has assumed the mantle of le chef des insoumis.

Plusieurs amendements des sénateurs FN David Rachline (Var) et Stéphane Ravier (Bouches-du-Rhône), à la tonalité très libérale, proposaient ainsi la suppression du compte pénibilité, le doublement des seuils sociaux ou encore la limitation « du monopole syndical ».
Rachline now blames these amendments on his assistants, who he says filed them without his authorization. They were later withdrawn at the behest of the party leadership. But the confusion reveals a real split in the FN on economic policy as well as a considerable level of incompetence in the management of legislation and the definition of a coherent party line.