Spanish Premier Urges France’s Leftist Alliance to Defeat Le Pen

(Bloomberg) -- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez voiced support for the left-wing alliance attempting to stem the rise of France’s populist National Rally party, the latest European leader to make direct remarks about France’s election.

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Far-right parties in Europe are imposing their “frameworks on conventional right-wing parties incapable of resisting their thrust,” which includes rhetoric against immigration, gender equality and the fight against climate change, Sanchez said in Bucharest.

“It’s our responsibility to stand up to this reactionary wave because no one else will. We’re the last line of defense. It depends on us that Europe doesn’t betray its own soul,” he said at a gathering of the Socialist International, a global association of leftist parties, in Romania’s capital.

“So French progressives, the world is watching you, you will defeat the far right and you will govern because the best way to stop the reactionary wave is to govern,” he added.

France’s political establishment has been shaken by the prospect of the far right taking control of its government after spending more than 50 years keeping it at bay. It’s forced several parties that had been at each other’s throats to swallow their animosity and come up with a largely unified electoral front.

Polls show National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, and its allies are on track to win the largest block of seats France’s National Assembly on Sunday — between 170 and 250 seats of the 577 up for grabs based on six surveys released Thursday and Friday — but fall short of an absolute majority.

The left-wing New Popular Front alliance is projected to win 140 to 198 seats, while President Emmanuel Macron’s group is on track for between 115 an 162.

--With assistance from Alan Katz.

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