Hollande is cashing in his chips and calling in a favor.
In order to draw a little bit of heat away from his disastrous handling of the Mistral deal, and try to somehow stop the forward momentum of Marine Le Pen and her Front National party, Hollande has called in the big guns…Western main stream media.
And what better way to demonise someone today than to associate them with Dr. Evil himself, Vladimir Putin.
By now we all know the formula oh so well.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban agrees to build the South Stream gas pipeline, and we are flooded with articles like this…
Via The Hill:
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, the once liberal “enfant terrible” of Central Europe, has fallen in love with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which in my books would be okay, if it weren’t for the fact he also fell for Putin’s anti-democratic, anti-Western, anti-European and anti-American view of the world. He is trying hard to turn Hungary, the once most-liberal and pro-Western of all countries in Central Europe, into an illiberal one.
Kids stray even in the best of families and Hungary, part of the Western family, is now straying.
Czech leader Milos Zeman has said that the EU should accept the fact that Crimea is now part of Russia, and we are flooded with articles like this…
President Milos Zeman has become a virtual mouthpiece for Russian President Vladimir Putin, denouncing Russian political prisoners in vulgar terms and denying Russian aggression in Ukraine.
And we have Marine Le Pen criticising France’s decision to halt the Mistral warship sale to Russia, or requesting that France’s gold holdings be repatriated back home, and suddenly we are flooded with articles like this…
or this; The International Business Times; Marine Le Pen’s Front National Borrows €9m From Russian Lender…
and this; The Week UK, Russia funds French National Front: is Moscow sowing European unrest…
and of course this; Bloomberg, Russia’s Big Bet on the French Far Right…
and let’s not forget this; The Guardian, Russia exerts influence in France with tree diplomacy – and loans to Le Pen
But nothing was more over the top propaganda that this sneaky little article from Slate entitled, From Russia With Cash. Very cute 007 reference.
French President Francois Hollande announced on Tuesday that, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, France is indefinitely suspending the planned shipment of two Mistral-class helicopter carrier ships to Russia. The decision could be a costly one—Russia will likely sue over the breach of the $1.6 billion contract for the ships—but it still seems like a no-brainer that a European country shouldn’t be selling military hardware to Russia at the same time that Russia is under EU sanction for military activities.
Not everyone saw it that way. Marine Le Pen, whose far-right, anti-immigrant National Front party has had a remarkable run of electoral success lately, has staunchly opposed suspending the Mistral deal. Like a number of other far-right European leaders, she’s been a vocal supporter of Russia throughout the Ukraine crisis and blamed the EU for starting a “new Cold War.” She has also traveled to Moscow multiple times since taking over the party from her father in 2011.
Supporting Russia may have been good business for Le Pen’s party. The National Front is now facing criticism for a 9 million euro ($11.3 million) loan it received from the First Czech Russian Bank, an obscure Moscow institution owned by Roman Popov, described by EUObserver as a “financier with close ties to the Russian political establishment.”* The party denies that the loan came with any strings attached. It says it needs the money to cover its campaigning expenses for upcoming national elections in 2017 and it was refused loans from French and European banks. The National Front has only about a tenth of the annual cash inflows of the ruling Socialist Party.
Nonetheless, the whole thing looks pretty fishy given Le Pen’s cozy relationship with Russia, and it’s an odd investment for a financial institution with no ties to France that as of last year had assets of just $771 million.
Le Pen, who is leading in some recent presidential polls—as previously stated, the next election isn’t until 2017—probably won’t suffer too much from this. As Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg points out, “She has never made a secret of her support for Putin, and her voters won’t be scandalized.” But coming on the heels of accusations that an MEP from Hungary’s Jobbik party accepted money from Russian intelligence services, it will add to suspicions that the surging European far right is acting as the Kremlin’s mouthpiece within the EU.
The wise, ‘no-brainer’, decision of Hollande to break a binding, paid in full, defence contract with Russia. The ‘multiple’, undercover trips by Le Pen to evil
Mordor Moscow. An ‘obscure’ Russian bank in the Czech Republic…with $771 million in assets deciding to loan $9 million of that to the scandalous French political party. And of course the Kremlin’s master plan…first Hungary, now France.
This Russian thing is a sickness that must be stopped by only the purest of pure US and Brussels ‘exceptionalism.’
Because nothing says pure evil like getting a loan from a…GASP…Russian bank.
Oh that Putin, he thinks he is so clever in his evil genius ways. Personally pulling all the strings, personally signing all the loan papers, funding that dastardly Le Pen, with a whopping $9 MILLION DOLLARS (well actually 9 million Euros, but we wanted to get in that Dr. Evil effect).
So what will this satanic, KGB tainted, dirty Russian loan be used for? Wait for it………
According to Front National this financial top-up will be used to organise its Saturday (29.11.2014) party congress in Lyon.
BAM!!! Sound the alarms. France, man the fort…the Russians are coming, the Russian are coming!
…Oh wait, that’s it. Money needed to help fund the party’s activities in Lyon. So the loan is kind of like the hundreds of millions and billions of dollars Obama or Hillary or Cameron get to fund their campaigns…just a lot, like a lot, less.
Question…If Hollande’s Socialist Party gets a loan from Citibank is he a little Obama puppy doggy? Never mind, we all know the answer to that one.