Polish PM warns of ‘dangerous’ turn after French election

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) talks with Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk ahead of the European Council Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on 27 June, 2024AFP

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned Monday of a “very dangerous” turn for France and Europe after the far right won the first round of pivotal French elections.

“This is all really starting to smell very dangerous,” said former EU chief Tusk, who also made allegations about “Russian influence” in “many parties of the radical right in Europe”.

“Even the complete victory of the radical right of Mrs. (Marine) Le Pen’s camp does not signal the loss of power by the centre represented by President (Emmanuel) Macron,” Tusk told reporters in Rzeszow, a vital hub for Western aid to Ukraine.

“But it is a very clear sign of what is happening not only in France, but also in some other countries, also in Western Europe,” he added, without specifying any additional European countries.

The former European Council president also spoke of a “dangerous trend”, and pointed to fears that “France can soon become the sick person of Europe, because it will be forced to confront these radical forces”.

“Foreign forces and enemies of Europe are engaged in this process, hiding behind these movements,” he added, without giving further details.

France saw the far-right come in well ahead at the weekend in the first round of snap legislative elections called after President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly three weeks earlier.

They emerged in first place with 33 per cent of the vote, compared to 28 per cent for the left-wing New Popular Front alliance, and more than 20 per cent for Macron’s centrist camp, according to preliminary results.