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French elections: 5 things you didn’t know about Nathalie Arthaud

Nathalie Arthaud is a well-read revolutionary who hopes that when it comes to polling day for the 2022 French presidential election, the electorate will rise up to crush the bourgeoisie.

Nathalie Arthaud is running on a Trotskyist platform at the 2022 French presidential election.
Nathalie Arthaud is running on a Trotskyist platform at the 2022 French presidential election. (Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI / AFP)

She is not a full-time politician 

At 51-years-old, Arthaud is a full-time teacher at a high school in Seine-Saint-Denis. In her free time, she serves as the national spokesperson for far-left political party Lutte ouvrière.

She was its presidential candidate in 2012 and 2017 and is stepping up again this time around. 

She thinks the communist party is not radical enough

Arthaud said she jointed Lutte ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle) because the communist party had “become Stalinist and a party of government that has adapted to the capitalist system”. 

The French Communist Party currently holds a smattering of seats in the French parliament, while around 60 communes are run by Communist mayors. Lutte ouvrière holds no parliamentary seats. 

She is a revolutionary steeped in academia 

She has even written a book, called Communiste, révolutionnaire, internationaliste !

In case it wasn’t already clear, Arthaud really believes in revolution. 

Her website makes heavy reading and is organised thematically into grand ideas (imperialism, protectionism, left and right in the service of capitalists and freedom of movement) rather than concrete policies.

She identifies as a Trotskyist. 

Her electoral record leaves room for improvement 

Arthaud’s previous performance in presidential elections has been poor, which is forgivable given that she is trying to sell a particularly radical message and has to give up a good chunk of time to teaching her students. 

In the previous two elections that she competed in, she won less than 1 percent of the vote both times around – but least she was able to gather the necessary parrainages (she also managed this for the 2022 contest). 

READ MORE What is ‘parrainage’ and how does it affect candidates

The only time she has ever been elected was as a municipal councillor in Lyon in 2008 – a post she held until 2014. 

She is fervently anti-Macron 

Arthaud is no fan of Emmanuel Macron and took part in the marée populaire (popular wave) protests against his newly-won presidency in 2017. She also voiced her support for the Yellow Vests movement. 

In a February interview with BFMTV, she described Macron’s record as president as “devastating”. 

“You have seen the health catastrophe, the state of hospitals, soaring inequality, precariousness that continues… at the other end what do we see? We see billionaires that have doubled their wealth,” she said. 

“The big bosses can congratulate themselves, they are happy, that is obvious. But when you go to the working class, we can only be very angry.”

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UKRAINE

France to build new floating terminal to ensure gas supplies this winter

The French government aims to have its natural gas storage reserves at full capacity by autumn, with European countries bracing for supply cuts from major supplier Russia as the Ukraine war continues, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Thursday

France to build new floating terminal to ensure gas supplies this winter

“We are ensuring the complete filling of our storage capacities, aiming to be close to 100 percent by early autumn,” and France will also build a new floating methane terminal to receive more energy supplies by ship, Borne said.

France is much less dependant on Russian gas than its neighbours, and announced earlier this week that it has not received any Russian gas by pipeline since June 15th.

Meanwhile Germany moved closer to rationing natural gas on Thursday as it raised the alert level under an emergency plan after Russia slashed supplies to the country.

“Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters at a press conference.

French PM Borne on Thursday also confirmed that the bouclier tarifaire (price shield) will remain in pace until the end of 2022 – this freezes the price of household gas and limits rises in electricity bills for homes to four percent.

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