Europe 1 with AFP 6:40 a.m., September 24, 2021

Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Eric Zemmour discussed Thursday evening on BFM TV.

The debate, heated at times, first focused on themes dear to the polemicist such as immigration.

The candidate La France Insoumise in the presidential election was only able to address his favorite themes in the second part of the debate.

It is a confrontation expected by many people.

Eric Zemmour and Jean-Luc Mélenchon discussed on BFM TV Thursday evening.

The opportunity for the editorialist, putative candidate for the presidential election, and the leader of La France insoumise to expose their visions on several subjects.

Immigration, security, identity, taxes, global warming: the two men presented very different points of view.

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Immigration and insecurity on the menu

"You have a stunted vision of France", "in your camp we guillotine": on immigration and insecurity but also on the social and economic, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Eric Zemmour opposed with great reinforcements anathemas, Thursday evening during a debate on BFMTV. The far-right polemicist announced the color from the introduction, hoping that "ideas collide, even shocking".

Opposite, the leader of rebellious France hoped that "this evening it will not be a roosters war but a moment of responsibility" at the moment when "France is entering its most terrible social and financial crisis".

But the rebellious presidential candidate had to wait an hour before tackling this economic and social subject, and the duel first ignited over immigration and insecurity.

France's "stunted" vision

Asked if France was integrating its immigrants, Mr. Zemmour, who wants to include in the law the obligation to give his child a first name called "French", replied that he was "against integration and for assimilation". The polemicist, who no longer hides his intention to run for 2022, accused the "French elites" of having "made the criminal folly of letting millions and millions of immigrants come from the Arab-Muslim civilization". "The French feel colonized" and have an "existential fear of disappearing", he said.

"You are a danger for our country. You have a stunted vision of France, you are racist and you have been condemned for that", replied Jean-Luc Mélenchon. "Many of us will not let you do it, you will not drive out the Muslims," ​​added Mr. Mélenchon against his opponent, twice convicted of incitement to racial hatred.

For Eric Zemmour, delinquency in France "is a jihad, it is a civil war, a war of looting, theft, rape".

"Aren't you ashamed?"

asked M. Mélenchon.

"Not ashamed at all," replied Mr. Zemmour.

Eric Zemmour feared that France would become "a large Lebanon" with a "French people little by little replaced by another people".

“The reality is nightmarish,” he said.

"I am going to wake you up from your nightmare," replied Mr. Mélenchon, who accused the polemicist of being "Iran upside down" by his desire to force Muslim women to drop the veil.

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"Scrached disk"

On the economy and the social, Jean-Luc Mélenchon unfolded his program, pleading in particular for the increase of the minimum wage. On the climatic level, he judged the "immense challenge" and "if nothing is done, in 2050, the Camargue, the Poitevin marshes, Dunkirk and Bordeaux will be under water". Mr. Zemmour, pro-nuclear and anti-wind, wanted to be "more modest": "he wants to save the planet, I just want to save France," he said. He recognized the existence of global warming, while slipping: "I am not an expert, I know that there is debate".

The polemicist had to come out of the woods on themes that he rarely broaches.

Attacking an "obese welfare state", he said that "it is necessary to reduce these social charges, to abolish the taxes of production", and "it is necessary that the solidarity is again national, that we no longer give the RSA or family allowances for foreigners ".

"Immigration touches on all subjects and it haunts the French," he added to the dismayed expression of his interlocutor, who replied by mocking: "Your record is broken, we start from anywhere what place in the song "to end on immigration.

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Mélenchon "revived" by the debate

During the debate, long argumentative tirades followed choppy sequences where the names of birds flew.

"I listened to you, little fellow," said Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

"Yes great helmsman", replied Eric Zemmour, accused earlier of "Woody Wood pecker" who would constantly interrupt his opponent.

The specialist in political communication Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet, professor at Sciences Po, estimated on Twitter that "Mélenchon is revived on the left with this debate", "never in difficulty".

While Eric Zemmour, "despite a palpable nervousness, benefited from a program focused entirely on its themes" and did not "collapse".

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