Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose postponement of the votes will be decisive in the second round, won 29% of the vote of 18-25 year olds, which makes the candidate of La France insoumise the favorite of the youngest. France 24 went to meet students from Paris 8 University in Saint-Denis who voted for him. For the latter, voting Emmanuel Macron seems excluded. “Macron or Le Pen, in any case we are screwed. For my first elections, I had hoped for better.” Hand in pocket, leaning against a Vélib terminal in front of the faculty of Paris 8 – Saint-Denis, Esteban, 18, blames the blow. On April 10, he voted for Mélenchon in the first round of the French presidential election. “It was the vote closest to my convictions. I’m not going to lie to you, it makes me lose hope in a better world, or at least in more social progress.” who made an appointment with his students despite the strike. A few meters away, the entrance to the university is blocked by bins connected to each other. It is 2 p.m., and the strikers have abandoned the morning picket. Anyway, the university preferred to close its doors for the day. A few posters and leaflets left in the garbage cans recall the demands: “The presidency [de l’université] refuses to enroll students fleeing the war in Ukraine. There are still 23 undocumented students whose college refuses to support the file!” On her mobile phone, a teacher shows the leaflets distributed by students on the morning of April 11, 2022 in front of the faculty of Paris 8. © France 24 “I hesitate between voting white or Le Pen in the second round” Alongside Esteban, Bruno * wants to speak. The Parisian student bounces on the words of his friend and finishes his sentences. He is also 18 years old and his family is very politicized. “My grandfather was a communist resistant, my father was immersed in this culture”, he likes to point out. All voted Jean-Luc Mélenchon this time, like him. “Macron, I don’t Above all, I don’t want to see him back in power, so I’m hesitating between voting white or Le Pen in the second round. Marine Le Pen is better than Macron on the social. And Macron, after all, he put ministers in power who led far-right policies,” he says, adding that he accuses Gerald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, of applying a ultra-repressive policy. Esteban agrees. He says he is angry with the outgoing president for not having respected his promises in terms of ecology. “There is still a report [du Giec] who recently said that we had three years to act against global warming.” The two friends say they do not recognize themselves in any second-round candidate on environmental issues. “On the other hand, the protectionism proposed by Marine Le Pen, I find it’s more interesting than Macron’s ultraliberalism,” adds Bruno. A National Rally president at the head of the country does not scare him. “The zero immigration policy doesn’t work, it’s inapplicable. We can see it, even Macron cannot manage to apply the expulsions from the territory. It will be like Donald Trump, did you know that he had expelled fewer migrants than Barack Obama?” Examining Marine Le Pen’s program in detail “I don’t like Macron and his secret services to friends, like with his friends of McKinsey [cabinet de conseil auquel le gouvernement a fait appel, NDLR]”, repeats Esteban, adding a line to his long list of grievances. A preliminary investigation for aggravated laundering of tax evasion targeting McKinsey was opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office on March 31. But neither of the two students doubts. “He does not nothing by chance, he is someone who seeks to make a profit on everything”, asserts Esteban. If he is sure not to vote Macron, over the course of the conversation, he begins to doubt his vote for the National rally.”I have to get Marine Le Pen’s program anyway to know what I’m going to slip into the ballot box.”His political choice, the young man says he talks about it easily with his mother, who combines small jobs in the south of France. “My mother is an actress. She is in her fifties but she is a waitress, home help. She serves meals at lunchtime in school canteens to earn a salary because she had problems with Pôle Emploi to have her status as a show worker recognized, “he said with a worried air. “She voted Mélenchon and will vote blank in the second round.” Going to the polls to vote blank Not everyone shares their parents’ opinion. A little further on, Lilou is also waiting for her film teacher. She is 19 years old and has chose the leader of La France insoumise in the first round, first for his proposals on ecology. “In my family, the vote has always been kept secret. But I think my parents voted for Macron”, she slips, before doubting it. “Who is the candidate who is proposing an increase in the minimum pension?”, She asks. A central subject in her family , where everything is based on her father’s retirement. “My mother stopped working at 25 to raise my sister, my brother and me,” she explains. that she will slip a blank ballot into the ballot box in the second round. © France 24 For the young student, money is a source of concern. “Macron wants to make universities pay, increase registration fees. It’s not going to be possible”, she says. Yet this proposal does not appear clearly in the candidate’s program. But it has been attributed to him since remarks made in mid-January. Emmanuel Macron had then advanced before the university presidents gathered in congress that “we will not be able to remain permanently in a system where higher education has no price for almost all students”, suggesting that he was open to an increase in fees After triggering strong reactions from the student unions, the president went back on his ambiguous statement: “When you want to fight against student precariousness, you don’t increase tuition fees,” he said. One thing is certain, says Lilou, is that she is certain not to vote for him: “I will still go to the polls, it is important. But since neither of the two candidates pleases me, I prefer not to be an actress in this vote. I will vote blank.””I cling to the legislative elections”In front of the closed doors of the university, other students arrive. They are going to attend a political science presentation on the prevention of inequalities. The course will take place outdoors , in a square in Saint-Denis. The entrance to the University of Paris 8 blocked by garbage cans, April 11, 2022. © France 24 Before joining the troupe, one of the students expressed her disappointment. She said having voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon and refuses to slip a ballot for Emmanuel Macron on April 24: “It would legitimize him, when he was unable to block the rise of the far right. On the contrary. I blame him for his increasingly repressive policy, the police violence he was unable to prevent, his contemptuous speech towards the most deprived. “The 21-year-old young woman prefers to pass her turn. wait impatiently for Sunday, June 12, the date on which the French are called upon to elect their deputies. “I am clinging to the legislative elections to obtain a majority on the left. I will not be relieved until I am sure that we can counter the power of the future or the future president”, she says before joining her group of comrades. * The first name has been changed.
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