“This presidential, I feel good”

11:45 PM, March 12, 2022

This weekend is teeming with his campaign headquarters. Jean-Luc Mélenchon sits at his desk and looks relaxed. Undoubtedly the effect of the polls, which put him in third place this week, behind Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, but ahead of Éric Zemmour and Valérie Pécresse. And which enable him to hope to set foot on the top step, that of the second round. The other left-wing candidates continue to pound him and question his… “complacency” with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, since the latter’s attack on Ukraine. But the candidate of La France insoumise, a regular in the countryside, follows his roadmap: a march on March 20 in Paris with a speech in the Place de la République; a meeting in Marseille on the 27th; and the return of gatherings through holograms, on April 5. In his sights, the presidential final.

On January 30, you stated: “It is the United States of America that is in the aggressive position and not Russia. † Do you regret some of your stances on Vladimir Putin’s regime in recent years?
What interest in sowing doubt about my position? I’ve always been an unfettered. Not aligned means not neutral. The proof: I position myself. For ten years, and again in January, I warned: Ukraine’s military status is a red line for Russia. As long as the United States of America pretended to bring Ukraine into NATO, it encouraged the paranoia of Russian leaders. But from the moment Putin invades Ukraine, he is solely responsible for the situation. So the unbearable is not the United States, but Russia, because it is she who crosses borders and takes us back to the times of war in Europe.

Economic sanctions have proven their ineffectiveness

Are new sanctions necessary?
Economic sanctions have proven their ineffectiveness. Example: Iran has been under sanctions for 25 years; the ayatollahs are still in power. In Cuba, the United States hunts anyone who sells a clothespin to the island. Result: zero. But the nations are being tortured. The Russians themselves will produce the goods that are no longer sold to the Russians. They will become independent. So I don’t agree with Total withdrawing from Russia! We have to hit the Russian power in the head and therefore focus on the assets of the oligarchs. What is not being done today. We barely confiscated a yacht!

What do you propose
Once you find yourself in such a situation, the answer is politics. Let us first rely on the resistance capacity of Ukrainians and Russians who want peace. Let’s make a radical diplomatic offer: a ceasefire, create humanitarian corridors and reunite the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Russians have things to ask. We also! We do not agree that they deploy missiles with a range between 500 and 5000 kilometers on their territory, because they are intended for us. We understand that they are telling us to withdraw the anti-missile weapons installed in Poland, an operation that François Hollande has accepted. It was a grave mistake.

Do you support an embargo on Russian gas and oil to pressure Putin?
The gas and oil boycott is nonsense. The United States is doing it, but without increasing production. Oil comes in at $140 a barrel, while that of the United States is profitable at $60. They will make billions. To the point where President Biden asks the oil companies not to abuse the situation… We, the embargo, would pay a heavy price for it. Let’s not be the turkeys of the farce.

There is no longer any room for debate with the executive. Macron has all the powers

Is it right to supply weapons to Ukraine?
A debate has opened. It only makes sense if there is a chance of a Ukrainian victory. Some soldiers tell us it’s not possible, others think the conflict could last long enough to force the Russians to negotiate. Only the President of the Republic has all the elements to judge. I see Turkey and Israel trying to negotiate. France is therefore sidelined. I regret it all the more since Macron presented himself as Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Are you asking for a vote in the National Assembly on Ukraine?
Voting would at least let you know what France wants to do! I am not saying that the head of state should give us the details, but at least the main lines and the red lines. Now decisions are made in secret by counsel. The National Assembly has been suspended for campaign reasons. So there is no longer any room for debate with the executive. He has all the powers.

The European Union has started examining the candidatures of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. Is this a good signal?
That is a good idea. Opening this discussion is confirmation. But we must stop linking access to the European Union and access to NATO. It is the denial of what we promised the Russians when the Soviet empire collapsed.

Anne Hidalgo describes you as an ally of the Russians and a “intermediary” from Putin… What do you say to him?
Nothing. This is no longer a political debate, this is an insult. Public opinion approves of his excesses!

I say to every leftist, progressive, humanist conscience: everyone is personally responsible for the outcome

We see the hostility towards you from Anne Hidalgo, François Hollande or Yannick Jadot. Think you can collect links?
This is not my topic! Their hostility wants to prevent me from making it to the second round. But who will be there then? LePen of Zemmour. Do they assume this unspoken choice? The People’s Union will not come from the leaders, but from the people on the grassroots.

In the case of a Mélenchon-Macron second round, you have the impression that this left one would shoot you in the back
My political strategy remains people-oriented. I say to every leftist, progressive, humanist conscience: everyone is personally responsible for the outcome. We must not hide behind the blockade of the heads. Today I am on the doorstep of the second round. The key is in your personal ballot!

You speak to the citizens, not to the leaders
I welcome the leaders to those who are willing to rule with us based on the program the voters choose. Otherwise too bad, we’ll do without.

Are you hoping for a sign in your favor from Christiane Taubira
Christiane is a big girl: she doesn’t have to twist her arm. If she wants to support someone, she will say so.

Fabien Roussel judged that his difference with me on steaks and chips, the police and nuclear power was worthy of a competitive candidacy

Does the communist Fabien Roussel not make it difficult for you
He does his job. He gets votes on the right and in the PS. He’s campaigning. But his voters know they will be decisive in getting me to the second round. When Macron retires at 65 and I at 60, the choice of ballot settles a social battle. So it’s not about making up the numbers for the glory of a party. It is a choice for the country. Fabien Roussel judged his disagreement with me over steaks and chips, the police and nuclear power was worthy of a competitive candidacy. At what political cost? I regret. But at least Roussel is discussing something. But the PS? At 1.5%, what good is it except to speak ill of me?

In the second round, the voting intention polls give you a big loser against Macron…
We will see. No election is an administrative formality. But such a second round would clear the atmosphere! It is better to discuss whether retirement is at 65 or 60, rather than the intellectual poison spreading by the far right to find out whether neighborhood safety problems depend on the religion of those who live there. A second Mélenchon-Macron round changes everything!

With the war in Ukraine, fuel and food prices are experiencing and will undergo staggering increases. What would you do
If we let things go, the country will be blocked from below. The shortage is everywhere: food, gas, heating. Millions of people miss everything! It is the market that has caused this chaos. Finance thrives on the disasters it causes. The price explosion is sinking people standing at the waterline. Eight million people already need food aid. If I am elected, basic necessities prizes will be blocked the next morning! Fuel prices are reduced. The liter of petrol is blocked at 1.40 euros, the price where it was when I proposed the block. As far as the minimum wage is concerned, that immediately becomes 1400 euros net. Hear the anger building in the people who suffer so much.

We have to break with the party for the rich and the market everywhere. I advocate economic non-alignment

How do you want
Article 410-2 of the Commercial Code allows this. To choose which prices to block, we can consult consumer organizations, sociologists and nutritionists. We have to break with the party for the rich and the market everywhere. I advocate economic non-alignment: the state or the market, as necessary.

Ukraine’s war paves the way for no-debate re-election for Emmanuel Macron
The French don’t want to complicate things for him, I understand that. I won’t do the shooter in the back either. However, this man does not solve anything. He is the president of the European Union and of France, the only real army and the only nuclear power on the entire continent. Results? Zero, nothing happens. it is the Turks and the Israelis who organize the dialogue between Russians and Ukrainians! The threat of skidding on the field is terrible. It’s always hard to believe that the world can change. Unless you’ve seen it in your life: I’ve seen decolonization, the USSR invading its neighbors, then its collapse, the Gulf Wars, 9/11. Everything was unthinkable. I know from experience that an international situation can turn around very quickly. Macron does his best. But in the name of the reserve to be respected, during the war in Ukraine, should you vote for someone to keep you working until you’re 65? Macron makes clear what his plan is. I clearly say mine. It’s a nice debate.

I tackle the tasks in order. Until the last second I’m running for the presidency

If the French don’t choose you, will you end your political career?
No. Until my last breath I will be a political activist. I don’t know how to live without it. Politics is magic, it allows you to take an interest in everything. Would I suddenly feel like nothing? Impossible.

Will you run for legislature?
I don’t want to think about it. I tackle the tasks in order. I’m running for president until the last second. And this presidential, I feel it right.