France: A divided nation decides

FT/Anne-Sylvaine Chassany/05-05-17

Sunday’s presidential duel pits Mr Macron against Ms Le Pen and their clash of visions for the eurozone’s second-largest economy. Opinion polls suggest he will win but the fight for office has exposed a divided country: one part happy, the other unhappy; one urban, the other rural and suburban; one embracing internationalism, the other seeking to erect barriers. They are the same faultlines shaking other western democracies, splitting those who feel they have gained from the far-reaching postwar liberal shift towards an interconnected world, and those who fear they have lost, or will lose out.

…The debate over the impact of globalisation is likely to dominate the five-year term of France’s next president.

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