A Florian Philippot friend promised an event "Very important" for the political return of the president of the Patriots – former number 2 Front National – this Sunday, September 2 in his stronghold of Forbach (Moselle). But the demonstration was limited to a meeting of just over a hundred activists, in a bar in the city, the Piazza.
Party leaders also planned a barbecue on an adjacent square in the city, but the socialist mayor of Forbach, Laurent Kalinowski, who defeated Florian Philippot in the parliamentary elections of 2012, and then in the municipal elections of 2014 (in the legislative elections of 2017, Philippot lost for an LREM candidate), prohibited grilling by a municipal decree. Reason invoked by the chief of the staff of the edile: "[Florian Philippot] did not ask us for permission to organize his meeting on the esplanade, owned by the town hall. City services offered alternative solutions [notamment la salle de fêtes de la commune, une offre que les Patriotes ont déclinée, ndlr]."
Four corners of France
The rendezvous was held in the walls of Franco Scarfo's bistro, reserved for the event: "No way to cancel, whether it's Philippot or Tartempion, or Paul or Jacques or who knows, it's the same for me." From the moment we want to organize an event at home, I agree explained the head of the Piazza. I am not a politician, I am a trader. I have to pay employees and expenses. If tomorrow Running or PS arrives, it will be the same. If we accept that the people please the mayor, we work more ».
Among the hundreds of people who had made the trip to Forbach was Gerard Marchand, the mayor of Brachay, the village of Haute-Marne where Marine Le Pen made his return to politics, before Philippot left the Front and repaired the same merchant. One hundred people, it is five times less than during the meeting "founder" of the Patriots, last February in Arras. Give it up "Back to school", according to party cadres. "Many people told us" yes, yes ", and then finally they saw the end of the holiday and the return the next day, they did not come, I understand", reported a sponsor. An activist: "From the south or the four corners of France it was complicated for many people." Especially because the Patriots did not charter a bus, in contrast to Arras.
And since then, the party has lost cadres and elected officials such as Sophie Montel (Member of the European Parliament, Regional Councilor of Burgundy-Franche Comté), who left the FN with Florian Philippot a year ago, before turning his back on the patriots in early July 2018 , the condemnation of the "Deviations" from the new party. "Sophie Montel criticized the" harmful "influences that Florian Philippot would have surrounded, and I especially believe that what he did not like is that the Patriots speak of brotherhood and humanism."says Franck de Lapersonne, national sponsor "culture" Patriots. "What Montel did not understand is that our party is not necessarily right."
"A clear and joyful campaign"
In his 40-minute speech, Florian Philippot described the Patriots as a movement open to all currents advocating the exit of the European Union. And the support of his will to unite the anti-EU, the former number 2 of the FN (now since RN) mentions as examples the leaders of the Patriots: Mireille d & # 39; Ornano "A gaullist forever", Franck de Lapersonne "Who worked with Mélenchon"MEP José Evrard "Who has been at the communist party for 35 years", forgetting that each of them also went through the Front National, like most sympathizers present on 2 September in Moselle.
It does not matter to him, because this & # 39; raking broad & # 39; is necessary for Florian Philippot if he wants to reach the 5% target he wants in the European elections of 2019 and enables him to obtain elected officials. The leader of the Patriots knows that he will play his political future in this election. On condition that he first finds 500,000 euros to campaign. "We are certainly of nothing, but we are confident"he says. Where will he find them? No precise answer, only he did not "Not tried with French banks. I know in advance that it is useless. In his speech, Philippot still promised his supporters "This campaign will be like the air we had this summer, bright and happy". But difficult to rely on the weather to get good scores in the elections.