Quai D’Orsay and Lambton Quay share a nightmare
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade must now begin the difficult and counter-ideological process of accepting that Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party might win the pending Presidential Election in France.
The reason is that Miss Le Pen has pledged to extricate France from both the EU and also the eurocurrency.
Miss Le Pen (pictured) and her party according to the polls is now the front runner to take over the Presidency and thus the government of France.
The former Prime Minister Francois Fillon has dropped in the polls following revelations that the leader of the Republican (i.e. Conservative) Party had while serving President Sarkozy put most of his family on the parliamentary payroll for performing duties that still remain unclear.
The second-line Republican Party candidate Alain Juppe has ruled himself out from succeeding the beleaguered Mr Fillon, partly because Mr Juppe, also a former premier, had also been mixed up in what the French describe as “fictitious employees.”
This leaves Miss Le Pen, followed by Emmanuel Macron the youthful former economics minister under President Francois Hollande.
Mr Macron in exiting the government of President Hollande did not wait to become adopted by an existing party. He simply formed his own France En Marche—France on the Move.
The Socialist Party led by Mr Hollande is simply not in the running, and does not feature in any of the polls as a realistic winner.
All this is bad news of course on Quay D’ Orsay and equally on Lambton Quay. On the quays the fervent hope was that while Miss Le Pen’s National Front might win the first round in the election, the once solid-seeming Mr Fillon would wash her away in the second round.
If the current polls hold water also washed away will be two years worth of negotiations in formal support of the EU-New Zealand trade liberalisation agreement.
Also swept aside will be the European Commission’s mandate to put the trade deal into action.
The reason is that France’s departure from the EU, and it is likely to be abrupt if Miss Le Pen takes charge, will invalidate the central axis of the union which is the German-French one.
France is the link between the Nordic/ Teutonic zone and the Mediterranean member countries.
It is uncertain if New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has charted a contingency plan in the now likely chance that Miss Le Pen and her party will emerge victorious from the imminent general election in France.
But given last year’s upsets in the US and the UK a suitable such contingency scheme would be to have ready a shrink-wrapped substitute deal with the EU’s northern nations.
The victory of President Donald Trump in the United States indicated that the New Zealand apparatus did not lay any groundwork, notably alternatives, for an event that it most ardently hoped would not in fact happen.
To an only slightly less extent the Brexit development is a similar indicator in an antipodean belief in the status quo.
| From the MSCMewsWire reporters' desk | Thursday 9 March 2017 ||