Andres Herkel (Free), chairman of the Estonia-France parliamentary group of the Riigikogu, said that the first round of the French presidential election held Sunday brought a safe result that would be favorable to Estonia.
"The result was fairly safe as Emmanuel Macron is the only one of the candidates who supports continued sanctions against Russia," Herkel told BNS on Monday. "Thus I believe him to be a good option for Estonia and Europe as he sticks to the line that seems to be unraveling at the edges everywhere."
The first round of the French presidential election was won by the centrist Macron, who will be joined in the second round by right-populistic National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
The fact that far left and far right candidates received such prominent support in France is alarming, Herkel said.
"It speaks volumes, is worrying and is a great challenge to Europe's traditional political elite to pull themselves together and communicate better with people — and not to be involved in corruption scandals like [Republican candidate Francois] Fillon, even though he managed to resolve it surprisingly well in terms of the campaign," Herkel said.
Commenting on the possible events that could take place if Macron won, Herkel said that it was still too early to say. "Macron is an interesting phenomenon, but I am not able to predict his future with regards to what he could be politically," commented the parliamentary group leader. "He is interesting first and foremost because, fitting in with the attempt to unite Europe, he is at the same time clearly outside of mainstream politics."
Helme: Macron won thanks to EU propaganda machine
Chairman of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme found that the European-minded Macron won the first round of the election thanks to the EU's propaganda machine.
"I would say that this is similar to the Dutch election," Helme told BNS on Monday. "The same trick was used where the European Commission-controlled EU propaganda machine was put to work in support of one candidate — Emmanuel Macron."
Speaking about the future following a potential Macron victory, Helme believed that the current situation would continue.
"Macron will not change anyting," said the EKRE chairman. "He will continue in the same way as before and, in essence, this is stretching the rubber band under his command. This means that problem will accumulate and, at one point, politics in France will radicalize and, as a result, if not Marine Le Pen, then somebody even crisper will seize power."
Helme claimed that the same thing would happen in a number of other European countries as well if such brainwashing and rubber band stretching by the European Commission continued. "Because it is clear that the people do not want a federalized Europe; the people want to decide their own fate and do not want to pay enormous dividends to German banks all the time — this was essentially one of the topics raised in France," he noted.
Commenting on allegations that Le Pen want to see France leave the EU, Helme said that the claims were the result of propaganda. "She has said that she will organize a referendum," he explained. "It is the same idea that [EKRE has] — that if Europe is moving toward federalization, we must ask the people for permission and not decide something in the Stenbock House. This is not how these things work. And Le Pen is essentially saying the same."
On the subject of Le Pen's alleged relations with Russia, Helme commented, "Look — everyone there has relations with Russia. France is one of the most lenient European countries when it comes to Russia. No politician there will be swimming against the flow in that regard."
Commenting on Macron's support of sanctions against Russia, the EKRE chairman said, "Well, sanctions are one thing, but we'll see what will happen after the election. A lot is said before an election."
French voters in Estonia favor Macron
A total of 60 French citizens, or 46.2 percent of the total number of voters registered at the French Embassy in Tallinn, voted for Macron, while far-left Mélenchon received 21 votes, or 16.2 percent, two votes more than conservative François Fillon, who received 14.6 percent of votes, the French Embassy told BNS on Monday.
12 votes were cast in favor of Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon and eight French citizens in voted in Tallinn for Le Pen.
A total of 170 voters were registered at the French Embassy in Tallinn. 131 votes were cast, 130 of which were valid.
The first round of the French presidential election was won by liberal centrist Macron, who received 23.86 percent of the votes, followed by right-populistic National Front leader Marine Le Pen with 21.43 percent of the vote.
The presidential runoff is scheduled to take place on May 7.
Editor: Aili Vahtla