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French PM’s Instagram pitch to young voters features Nintendo, condom

French premier Gabriel Attal wielded objects including a condom and a Nintendo Switch in a last ditch bid on social media to win the votes.

The government faces an uphill struggle to narrow the gap with the far right
The government faces an uphill struggle to narrow the gap with the far right - Copyright Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies/AFP -
The government faces an uphill struggle to narrow the gap with the far right - Copyright Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies/AFP -

French premier Gabriel Attal on Friday wielded objects including a condom and a Nintendo Switch in a last ditch bid on social media to win the votes of young people in European elections.

Attal’s centrist government is battling to narrow the far-right National Rally’s (RN) massive lead in opinion polls when France votes in the European parliament elections on Sunday.

On the final legal day of campaigning in France, Attal brandished a condom, a Nintendo Switch games player and a universal charger as proof of how Europe brings benefits to young people.

“These three objects have something in common — Europe,” Attal, at 35 France’s youngest prime minister, said in a video published on his Instagram page.

It was thanks to Europe, he said, that “all the condoms that you buy conform with all the demands in terms of resistance and security.”

He said Europe had forced Nintendo to replace free of charge Switch joysticks that no longer worked and was forcing manufacturers to have one single phone charger from December.

Reaffirming a mantra of President Emmanuel Macron, Attal said Europe was “in danger” and risked having a “blocking minority” of far-right deputies in the next European parliament.

“I count on you to vote on Sunday” for the ruling party’s list led by Valerie Hayer, he said.

Hayer has waged a troubled campaign, with Attal taking on a head-to-head duel with the RN list chief Jordan Bardella and then facing criticism for seeming to barge in on a debate where she was speaking.

A poll by OpinionWay published Friday showed the RN list on 33 percent of the vote and Macron’s centrist coalition on 15 percent only just ahead of the Socialists on 13 percent.

Macron had Thursday also spoken of the risks of a far-right victory, warning the French not to share the regrets of Britons who did not vote against Brexit in the 2016 referendum, only to see their country leave the European Union.

“Come on, go vote on June 9, it is very important. I say this because I always think back to our British friends who did not go to vote on Brexit day. Not going to vote is leaving the future of our continent and our country to others,” he said in a television interview.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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