Paris protesters march against both candidates in French presidential election

Protesters have clashed with police in Paris during a demonstration against both candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.

Paris protesters march against both candidates in French presidential election

Protesters have clashed with police in Paris during a demonstration against both candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.

Marching under the motto “Neither Le Pen, nor Macron - against finance and fascism– they threw projectiles at riot police.

The disturbances follow a similar march in Lille yesterday.

Candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron today verbally clashed over the future of the fishing industry today.

The exchange marked a return to more traditional campaigning after the extraordinary "battle of Whirlpool", when both candidates sought to harness France's blue-collar vote at a threatened home appliances factory.

The anti-EU far-right populist Ms Le Pen was up before dawn to cruise aboard a fishing trawler on the Mediterranean.

The sea trip was her latest television-friendly effort to portray herself as the candidate of France's workers against the centrist Mr Macron, whom she paints as the candidate of the financial, political and pro-EU elite.

Mr Macron has a scheduled television appearance this evening.

Ms Le Pen said after her voyage aboard the trawler, Grace of God 2: "My grandfather was a fisherman, so I am in my element."

She said France will take back control of its maritime policies if she is elected in the second-round vote on May 7.

The far-right candidate again tore into Mr Macron's more economically liberal policy plans. He fired back on Twitter, saying Ms Le Pen's proposals to take France out of the EU would sink France's fishing industry.

"Have a nice trip. Europe's exit she proposes, it's the end of French fishing. Think about it," he tweeted.

With her sea voyage, Ms Le Pen continued to hammer home the blue-collar theme she sought to take ownership of on Wednesday with a surprise visit to the threatened Whirlpool clothes-dryer factory in northern France.

That wily campaign manoeuvre put Mr Macron on the defensive and prompted him to meet angry Whirlpool workers later that same day.

Today, newspapers and commentators debated which of the two candidates scored the most points in the remarkable Whirlpool drama which highlighted their clash of styles and was broadcast live on French news channels.

"War is declared", ran the front-page headline of the daily Liberation.

Former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou - a Macron ally - awarded victory to the centrist, saying Mr Macron showed courage by spending more than an hour trying to reason with workers at the plant in Amiens.

Mr Bayrou, speaking on BFM television, said Mr Macron's impromptu visit - his attempt to take back the initiative after Ms Le Pen stole his thunder by popping up earlier in the day at the Whirlpool factory gates - could have been "very bad for him".

Mr Macron was whistled and booed when he first arrived, amid chaotic scenes. But he stood his ground, patiently and at times passionately debating with workers in often heated exchanges about how to stop French jobs from moving abroad.

"Arriving to whistles, he (Macron) left shaking hands", which showed his character, Mr Bayrou said.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox