France’s former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has warned the upcoming European Parliament election could be a catalyst for a major political crisis, adding that scapegoating the “extremes” could help them win sympathy votes.

The EU election has been framed by Europe’s progressives as an opportunity to push for more Europe, while the bloc’s far-right populists hope it will strip Brussels of its main powers. We are witnessing the early stages of “an extremely serious political crisis,” Mr. de Villepin said in a joint interview with the TV station CNews, Europe 1 radio and newspaper Les Échos. He added tensions between europhiles and eurosceptics would likely reach a boiling point in the coming months.

President Emmanuel Macron, he warned, is engaged in a political “arm-wrestle” with the extremes.

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