Peter Martino reports:
Next Sunday, the first ballot of the French presidential elections will be held. The two candidates with the most votes will run against one another in the second and final round on May 6. The big surprise of the French electoral campaign so far has been the rising support for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the far-left Left Front. Mélenchon will not be able to make it to the second round, but the party, which he established in 2009 after leaving the center-left Socialist Party (PS), is expected to do very well in the parliamentary elections next June.
Mélenchon could become the kingmaker, deciding which of the two major candidates, the incumbent center-right Nicolas Sarkozy or PS candidate François Hollande, will win the second round. If Hollande manages to win thanks to Mélenchon's support, there are bound to be consequences for France's relations with the United States and Israel.
The rise of the French far-left is not an isolated case. One can see this phenomenon all over Western Europe. While Europe is facing economic decline, the far-left is gaining popularity. The rise of the far-left is a direct consequence of the eurocrisis. As this crisis deepens, the appeal of the far-left grows.