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French Far-Right Leader Criticizes Mbappe’s Pre-Election Comments

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French far-right leader Jordan Bardella criticized soccer star Mbappé, stating that it was uncomfortable to see him preaching to suffering French citizens.

The National Rally is a far-right political party in France and is expected to win in the general elections scheduled for July 7. Bardella is a strong candidate for the next Prime Minister.

The criticism stems from Mbappé’s encouragement during a press conference to young people to vote in the general election. He is currently participating in Euro 2024 in Germany as a member of the French national team.

Mbappé said, “I see extremists at the gate of power,” and added, “Young people who have the chance to choose the future of the country should vote.” While he did not explicitly mention the National Rally, he seems to support the current ruling party.

In an interview with the French daily Le Parisien on the 18th, Bardella noted, “I have a lot of respect for our footballers, whether Marcus Thuram or Kylian Mbappe, who are icons of football and icons for youth … But we must respect the French, we must respect everyone’s vote.”

He stated, “My ambition is to normalize the national accounting and to reduce the distance between the rich and the poor.” Bardella also mentioned setting up an independent committee consisting of auditors and economists to audit the national accounts.

Last year, France’s fiscal deficit accounted for 5.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Due to this, S&P Global Ratings downgraded France’s national credit rating from ‘AA’ to ‘AA-‘ for the first time in 11 years.

Furthermore, Bardella criticized President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plan, passed despite opposition, as “economically inefficient and socially unfair” and added that he would “abolish it this fall.”

In April, Macron signed a pension reform bill that delayed the retirement age from 62 to 64. Bardella responded, “I will bring back the retirement age to 62. And those who have consecutively worked for 20 years and paid pensions can also retire.”

He also said he would submit an emergency immigration bill to the parliament, which would shorten the deportation process and abolish birthright citizenship.

If this bill passes, it won’t be easy for second-generation immigrants like Mbappé to acquire French nationality. Mbappé’s father, Wilfried Mbappé, is from Cameroon, and his mother, Fayza Lamari, is from Algeria.

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