The Story of Madame Brigitte Macron

Source: Independent, April 25 (edited)

…Aged 64, Ms Macron is a grandmother of seven and 25 years her fresh-faced 39-year-old husband’s senior. Even better, perhaps, they met when he was 15 and she was his married, private school teacher – with a daughter of the same age, in the same class….

They met because of La Providence, the imposing private school founded by devout Jesuits in Amiens. She was the extrovert Latin, French and theatre teacher, blonde-hair in the style of Brigitte Bardot according to a later Paris Match account, married since the age of 20 to a local banker.

He was 15, already steeped in the writings of French literary giants like André Gide – a teenage prodigy. It has been said that Laurence, the daughter of Mme Auzière (as Brigitte then was), returned home from school one day raving about the talents of a classmate who was “a crazy boy who knows everything about everything.”

The French Election: A Warning from Switzerland

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, April 24

The ultranationalist Marine Le Pen is now on the doorstep of the Elysée Palace. She’s a woman with a clear profile. Even if she says she’s neither left nor right, her basic stance is on the far right of the political spectrum: the strong state gives the orders, it’s the people’s job to obey. There’s little room for freedom or personal responsibility….

The polls are predicting a clear defeat for Le Pen in the second round of these presidential elections on May 7. But the “Front républicain” against the far right can no longer be relied on and a victory for Le Pen is now possible – if enough conservatives defect to her camp and a sufficient number of disappointed leftists abstain from voting. To beat Le Pen in a convincing way, Macron will have to sharpen his profile. It’s not enough just to look nice.