The beginner’s guide to the French elections

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The beginner's guide to the French elections
The beginner's guide to the French elections

The beginner’s guide to the French elections

The beginner's guide to the French elections
The beginner’s guide to the French elections

 

(CNN)France is about to pick a new president. C’est bien, you say, but you’re still recovering from the tectonic shifts of 2016.  (Brexit! Trump!)

You really should pay attention, though. One of Europe’s most important countries could end up being run by a far-right leader or someone who’s never held elected office. Either way, the result will ripple across the globe.

Why should you care?

The EU already has its hands full dealing with its impending divorce from the UK. At least two of the candidates in this election vow to get France out of the EU too. Could the 28-nation group survive the loss of two of its richest and most populous members? Probably not. “A French government that abandons the euro would be a far greater political shock than Britain leaving the EU,” two analysts say.

If you’re in the US:

There’s a real feeling brewing that this presidential election, just like America’s, will bring about changes no one can fully predict. One political observer says the French “have had enough of the left and right over the past 30 years” and “they want to throw the table over.” An even more unpredictable world is something most Americans would rather do without. The two races have a whole host of truly frightening similarities: underwhelming and alarming candidates, allegations of corruption, and gaffes. So many gaffes.

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