Le Pen slams government for backing 'thoughtless' sanctions on Russia
Marine Le Pen says the French government was swept along by the European Union into adopting inappropriate and thoughtless sanctions against Russia.
French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen considered on Sunday that the centrist government made a "geopolitical mistake" when it backed the European Union’s ill-conceived sanctions against Russia.
Le Pen, who finished second in this spring’s presidential race, indicated that the government was "swept along by the European Union crazed by the war in Ukraine into adopting inappropriate and thoughtless sanctions."
She said Germany, the main beneficiary of Gazprom’s Nord Stream gas pipelines and a vocal advocate of the green transition, was the one responsible for the EU’s dependence on Russian energy imports.
"If anyone is responsible for our dependence on Russia, it is the idiots and the naive who bet on wind and solar power," Le Pen told a party meeting in Agde in southern France.
40% of French population in favor of anti-Russian sanctions
With only 40% of the French population in favor of the anti-Russian sanctions, the most recent Elabe poll revealed that support for anti-Russian sanctions is on the decline across France.
The poll showed that 32% of French people believed that anti-Russia sanctions must be restricted to diminish their effect on the livelihoods of the French people.
However, a staggering 27%, more than half of those who support sanctions against Russia, have stated that they are against economic sanctions altogether.
Since 2021, energy costs, across the EU, have been rising as part of a global trend. Fuel costs have skyrocketed since the start of the war in Ukraine and the adoption of various multiple sanction packages against Moscow by the West, prompting several European countries to take emergency measures.
Increasing electricity, gas bills becoming unaffordable for low-paid Europeans
It is noteworthy that a study conducted by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has found that increasing electricity and gas bills are becoming unaffordable for low-paid Europeans, costing them more than a month's wages for low-paid workers in the majority of EU member states, with more energy prices hikes to be witnessed likely in coming months unless government action is taken.
According to the study, an estimated 9.5 million employed people had difficulties paying their energy bills before the energy crisis began. The cost of gas and electricity had risen by 38% across Europe in comparison with last year, and it continues to soar.
The number of days a person earning the minimum wage has to work to pay their energy bill has risen dramatically in some countries, such as Estonia (+26), Netherlands (+20), Czechia (+17), and Latvia (+16).
That means Estonian workers earning the minimum wage have to work an additional 26 days to pay for their annual energy bill.
"When your bill costs over a month's wages, there's no clever money-saving trick that will make a difference," ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said in a statement, adding that "These prices are now simply unaffordable for millions of people."
ETUC urged European leaders "to take decisive action to end Europe's unsustainable energy price rises," calling on EU leaders to install price caps on energy bills for consumers and make targeted payments to low-wage workers struggling with energy bills.
The group also called for other anti-crisis measures to protect incomes and jobs, as well as increases to minimum wages, and urged EU countries to support collective bargaining so other workers may obtain wage hikes. It also called on European nations to tax windfall profits made by energy companies.