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Macron warns voters against the far right and hard left ahead of crucial parliamentary elections

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Macron warns voters against the far right and hard left ahead of crucial parliamentary elections
News

News

Macron warns voters against the far right and hard left ahead of crucial parliamentary elections

2024-06-25 19:34 Last Updated At:19:40

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is warning voters against choosing the far right or the hard left, asserting that their divisive policies increase the risk of political “conflict and civil war," ahead of Sunday's first round of crucial parliamentary elections.

Macron said both the far-right National Rally and hard-left France Unbowed bring bad responses to “real problems” because they “respond in some way by increasing conflict and civil war." He spoke in an interview with French podcast “Generation Do It Yourself,” released Monday.

Macron called snap elections following the defeat of his centrist alliance at European Union elections earlier this month. Voters will choose lawmakers for the National Assembly in two rounds on June 30 and July 7.

“When you are fed up with everything, when daily life is hard, you can be tempted by extremes that have quicker solutions. But the solution will never lie in rejecting others," Macron said.

He asserted that the National Rally's policies, detailed by the party's president Jordan Bardella on Monday, would “lead to civil war” and are “an impoverishment program, because it’s several thousand euros in hidden taxes every day and an impossibility of paying pensions and paying employees well.”

The hard-left France Unbowed encourages tensions between communities for electoral purposes, he asserted, arguing it also means “civil war” because it “reduces people to their religious or ethnic group."

Polls show that the outcome of the early election remains uncertain amid a complex voting system and potential alliances. Macron is aligned against both the National Rally and the New Popular Front, a coalition of far- to center-left parties that includes France Unbowed.

French President Emmanuel Macron answers questions after delivering a speech, Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron called for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup to defeat the far-right in general elections. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French President Emmanuel Macron answers questions after delivering a speech, Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron called for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup to defeat the far-right in general elections. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech, Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Paris. President Emmanuel Macron is addressing French voters on Wednesday for the first times since he has called snap national election following a crushing defeat of his party by the far-right in the European vote. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech, Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Paris. President Emmanuel Macron is addressing French voters on Wednesday for the first times since he has called snap national election following a crushing defeat of his party by the far-right in the European vote. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — A legendary French priest and a life-long advocate of the homeless was accused of committing acts that would amount to “sexual assault or sexual harassment,” the international foundation he established said in a statement Wednesday.

Abbé Pierre, who died in 2007, was one of France’s most beloved public figures. The founder of the international Emmaus Community for the poor, Abbé Pierre had served as France’s conscience since the 1950s, when he persuaded Parliament to pass a law — still on the books — forbidding landlords to evict tenants during winter.

Several women have accused the late priest of sexual assault or harassment between the end of the 1970s and 2005, his foundation said in a statement. It explained that it is making public the allegations of seven women, including one who was a minor at the time of abuse, after reviewing the report of an expert firm, which specializes in violence prevention, that was commissioned to listen to women's testimonies, and analyze them.

"The Emmaus Community is making public the acts that may amount to sexual assault or sexual harassment, committed by Abbé Pierre," the statement said. It added that several other women had “suffered comparable acts” of sexual abuse, but were unable to be heard. The alleged victims were employees, volunteers with the foundation or some of its member organizations, or young women in Abbé Pierre’s personal entourage, the statement also said.

The foundation has set up a confidential system for other potential victims to come forward, for “collecting testimonies and providing support to people who were victims of or witnessed unacceptable behavior on the part of Abbé Pierre,” the statement also said.

In 2021, an independent commission on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church estimated that some 330,000 children were sexually abused over 70 years by priests or other church-related figures in France.

FILE - French priest Abbe Pierre prepares to drive away after making various speeches to volunteer helpers who help the homeless in the streets of Paris, on Feb. 2, 1954. Several women have accused late French priest Abbe Pierre of sexual assault or harassment, his foundation said Wednesday July 17, 2024. Abbe Pierre was one of France's most beloved public figures and a lifelong advocate for the homeless. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - French priest Abbe Pierre prepares to drive away after making various speeches to volunteer helpers who help the homeless in the streets of Paris, on Feb. 2, 1954. Several women have accused late French priest Abbe Pierre of sexual assault or harassment, his foundation said Wednesday July 17, 2024. Abbe Pierre was one of France's most beloved public figures and a lifelong advocate for the homeless. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Abbe Pierre addresses journalists in his home of Alfortville, east of Paris, on Aug. 5, 2005. Several women have accused late French priest Abbe Pierre of sexual assault or harassment, his foundation said Wednesday July 17, 2024. Abbe Pierre was one of France's most beloved public figures and a lifelong advocate for the homeless. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

FILE - Abbe Pierre addresses journalists in his home of Alfortville, east of Paris, on Aug. 5, 2005. Several women have accused late French priest Abbe Pierre of sexual assault or harassment, his foundation said Wednesday July 17, 2024. Abbe Pierre was one of France's most beloved public figures and a lifelong advocate for the homeless. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

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