Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the agony of her aunt

EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the agony of her aunt


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Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is the extremely young (26) nemesis of her own aunt, the current Front national (FN) leader Marine Le Pen. There isn’t much to say about Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, other than she was born in December 1989, the granddaughter of the Front’s founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, and niece of Marine.

But more than just the niece, she is also Marine’s venomous rival. Tougher than her aunt, who has to convince the voters that the Front is a respectable party, and who is trying to get rid of the rabid, anti-semitic old guard, Marion did not support her grandfather’s expulsion from the party.

The year 2015 saw a shakespearean tragedy inside the Le Pen clan. In May last year, Marine Le Pen, launched, as leader of FN, an all-out offensive against her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, entering into an open war with the man who founded the party more than four decades ago.

Marine Le Pen, reacting to persistent anti-Semitic remarks made by her father, managed to convene the party’s executive bureau and expelled the old founder, in order to “protect the political interests of the National Front.”

The party’s executive committee also said it would strip him of his title of honorary chairman after he repeated his view that Nazi gas chambers were a mere “detail” of World War Two. Marine Le Pen wants to run for president in 2017, two years from now, and she needs to cut a respectable figure. Antisemitism is a no-go area.

But Jean-Marie Le Pen disowned his own daughter and party leader Marine, saying he hoped she would lose the 2017 presidential election.

Marine Le Pen took over the reins of the party in 2011 from her father. In the 2014 European elections, the Front National, led by her, received 4,712,461 votes, finishing first with 24.86% of the vote and 24 of France’s 74 seats.

Since then, with the connivence of his granddaughter Marion, the old Le Pen is making Marine’s life a misery, by appearing unexpectedly at major FN meetings, pushing towards a split in the party and making lewd jokes about how Marine allegedly surrounds herself with homosexuals.

Marion, the granddaughter, seems indeed much more reactionary and poisonous that the FN leader Marine, more brazen and reckless in her public statements, showing the same strain of offensive candour as her grand-father

Marion (26, already married and with a little daughter) has been an MP for the bucolic Vaucluse’s constituency since 2012. She didn’t finish university (business law), saying she wanted to dedicate herself to her office.

Twenty-two years old at the time of her election, she became France’s youngest MP in history.- conventional, pretty and reactionary, taking part in mass demonstrations against same-sex marriage, such as the one organized in Paris in 2013.

Maréchal-Le Pen believes that Muslims can only be French if they follow Christian culture, saying that “In our country, we don’t wear djellaba clothing, we don’t wear a veil and we don’t impose cathedral-sized mosques”.

She is also a member of the parliamentary friendship group France–Russia (the Front National got a Russia loan from Russia in suspicious conditions). In November 2014 it was announced that the National Front obtained a loan of $11 million from a Russian bank. Many critics believe the Kremlin is using the Front, and other anti-EU parties as a vehicle to lobby its political interests in Europe. And both Marine and Marion make no secret of their sympathy for Vladimir Putin.

This is the stuff tragedies are made of. In the end, Marion doesn’t seem to have understood that the satyrical magazine Charlie Hebdo was right when they once said: “what an idiot is this Le Pen. He doesn’t realise that if we had kept Algeria, we would now have 40 million Arabs in France”.

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