Those in favor of the EU were happy to see French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
German politicians show support moving ahead to May 7th
Both Macron and Le Pen will move onto the second round of elections that take place on May 7th. Following the first round, Macron won nearly 24 percent of the vote compared to Le Pen’s 21.4%.
Prominent German politicians showed their support for Macron following the results. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official spokesman wished the candidate “all the best for the next two weeks”.
“It’s good that Emmanuel Macron was successful with his course for a strong EU and social market economy,” the spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also pushed for the candidate in favor of the EU: “I’m sure he will sweep away the far-right, right-wing populism and the anti-Europeans in the second round,” said Gabriel in a video during his trip to Amman, the capital of Jordan.
“I’m glad that @EmmanuelMacron is leading the field. He was the only truly pro-European candidate,” tweeted Gabriel.
A parallel with upcoming German elections?
For those in Germany, the upcoming French elections bear a resemblance to the country’s own elections this September, where far right candidates from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party look to gain their first seats in the German parliament.
Just this past January, the AfD hosted a “European counter-summit” with far-right leaders from across Europe in attendance. Marine Le Pen, for examplle, was a headliner. The AfD’s co-leader Frauke Petry also retweeted congratulations to Le Pen.
SPD Bundestag faction leader Thomas Oppermann said that Macron’s positive results thus far could be further used to fight far-right politics in Germany.
“Now it is necessary in Germany to fight so that the ever more right-drifting AfD does not enter the Bundestag,” said Oppermann.
Merkel’s Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier was also positive about what Macron’s election could mean for other European countries. “The results for Macron show that France and Europe can win together,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The middle is stronger than the populists think.”