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How an Emboldened Far-Right Is Changing French Politics

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Only once has France had a far-right government -- in the dark days of Nazi occupation during World War II. That lingering association with a period of national calamity confined extreme conservative groups to the margins of politics for the rest of the 20th century. Now they’re making a comeback, exploiting economic insecurity to peddle a narrative of a proud nation in decline, besieged by alien cultures. In an April presidential election, far-right figures secured the most votes since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958. Two months later, France’s largest far-right party hit another milestone by winning a record number of seats in parliament.