After Brexit, the official language of the European Union no longer has to be English. The proposal comes from the candidate of the French sovereign right, Eric Zemmour. If he becomes president, the essayist and direct rival of Marine Le Pen, Valerie Pecresse and outgoing president Emmanuel Macron, announced in the past few hours in front of reporters, he will ask “that European meetings cease to be systematically in English. There are other languages in Europe. There is French, there is German, there are great languages in Europe and we don’t need to speak English now that the English are gone.“. Zemmour insisted that his position was not dictated by his English which leaves something to be desired. The sovereign candidate also proposed eliminating the teaching of English from elementary schools to make students concentrate. on the French. “The burden must be placed on the French language and on mathematical calculus, in which there is an unprecedented collapse“he declared in the past few hours in an interview with BfmTv.
The identity issue at the center of the French presidential elections
The controversy over the English language launched by Zemmour – just when Macron takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, until June 30 – is indicative of how the theme of French identity is one of the focal themes of the presidential election campaign. Last November, as already reported in the columns of this publication, the entry into the Petit Robert, equivalent of our Garzanti dictionary, of the neuter pronoun “iel”, contraction of “the” (he) and “elle” ( lei “), used by people who define themselves as” non-binary “and therefore do not recognize themselves in either the male or female gender. To protest against this decision some members of the party En Marche by the outgoing president Emmanuel Macron, including the deputy François Jolivet: a political move dictated – also – by the desire to blow votes from the identity right of Zemmour and Le Pen.
Therefore, among the identity themes, language represents one of the central elements. As for the EU, Brexit has not changed – to date – the cards on the table: the linguistic hegemony of English, the official language of the bloc since 1973, has not yet been questioned, although it could be one of the issues addressed by the French presidency. As reported WiredAccording to the latest Eurostat data, English is by far the most studied foreign language in upper secondary education in the EU. More than 87% of pupils studied English in upper secondary education in 2018. English is followed by French (19%), German and Spanish (both around 18%). Overall, English remains the most widely spoken and widespread language within the EU with 47% of Europeans speaking it, followed by German (32%), French (28%) and Italian (18%). .
Polls in the balance, challenge to the right
The far-right candidate tries to make people talk about himself and gain support over rival Le Pen. As reported by theAgi, according to the latest poll on the first round of the French presidential elections, scheduled for next April 10, the outgoing president Emmanuel Macron would be in the lead with 25% of the voting intentions and with the three right-wing candidates who compete for the place in the ballot: the Gaullist of the Republicains, Valerie Pecresse, and the nationalists Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour. In the survey, carried out by Harris Interactive for Challenges, Pecresse gets 16%, exactly like Le Pen, while Zemmour is one point below, at 15%. Compared to the previous survey, Macron earns one point, Pecresse and Le Pen are unchanged and Zemmour loses one point. A match, the one between the three right-wing candidates, which will be played for very few votes.
It is no coincidence that a rivalry has arisen between Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour which, according to many analysts, risks benefiting Gaullist Valerie Pecresse. Friction that intensified after Zemmour received the endorsement of Guillaume Peltier, former vice president of the Republicans and recently appointed spokesperson for the election campaign of the essayist and columnist de Le Figaro. For Guillaume Peltier, in fact, Zemmour is “the only candidate capable of beating Emmanuel Macron because the only candidate capable of bringing together all right-wing voters“. The former right-wing leader at the Centro-Val de Loire regional council added that he was deeply” distrustful “of the Republican candidate, Valerie Pecresse who, according to him,”it’s like Emmanuel Macron“. For its part, Le Pen, as the agency reports Agi, accused Zemmour of purposely inflating the number of his supporters. “With him it is always all false“, he attacked Le Pen, questioning that Zemmour Reconquete’s movement already has 75,000 supporters and 9 million euros to finance the electoral campaign.”It has no rebound leverage and will finish the campaign below 10%“, Le Pen pressed. In this verbal war, Zemmour defined Le Pen’s candidacy as” routine “, presenting it as”the Arlette Laguiller of the national right“With Macron practically sure of getting to the ballot, the real battle is all right. Who will challenge the outgoing president?