Le Pen, who only just made it to the presidential race, targets the
supermarkets as a scapegoat in order to secure shopkeepers’ votes. This
audience, traditionally right-wing, has been deserting current president
Sarkozy as they felt abandoned by his government. Only 37% of them
would still support the centre-right president – compared to already 18%
for Le Pen.
The Front National candidate found inspiration in Italy, where smaller
retailers united into Confcomercio in 1970 and forced the government
into issuing quota to reduce the number of supermarkets in relation to
the population. She claims that these quota achieved ‘excellent results’
in terms of employment.
“We created 750.000 jobs”
The French distribution federation FCD was not amused and accused the
far-right politician of being a demagogue. “Large scale distribution,
with its different formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience
stores) give the consumers what they need throughout the country.
Moreover, it has created 750.000 jobs and still recruits 100.000 people
each year – mostly young people without (higher) education.”