Europe 1 with AFP // Photo credit: XOSE BOUZAS / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 20:07 p.m., November 10, 2023

During a visit to Fréjus on Friday, government spokesman Olivier Véran said he had received several thousand insulting tweets and about 20 death threats. A wave of hatred that is said to have originated from his remarks about the National Rally having "no place" in the march against anti-Semitism on Sunday in Paris.

Government spokesman Olivier Véran, visiting the National Rally town of Fréjus on Friday, said he had received insults and death threats after saying the far-right party had "no place" in the march against anti-Semitism. "I spoke about the RN two days ago, I announced that I was coming here, and since then I have received 10,000 insulting tweets and more than 20 death threats. This is unacceptable," Véran said.

He was speaking during a debate with high school students on Europe and was responding to a student's question about the difficulties for politicians to take responsibility for decisions that may be displeasing on a daily basis. On Wednesday, the minister said the RN had "no place" in Sunday's march against anti-Semitism. His entourage confirmed that this level of reaction on social media was exceptional.

"He's doing the Calimero, but he spends his time insulting us"

"It's the hospital that doesn't give a damn about charity," said RN MP Julie Lechanteux, while condemning the death threats. "He's doing the Calimero, but he spends his time insulting us, insulting us." After visiting several other municipalities run by the far right, Olivier Véran, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Europe, Laurence Boone, visited the University Hospital in Fréjus, a middle and high school that has benefited from European funds. "Europe finances a lot of structures and projects," said Laurence Boone. "If we don't show this, if we don't go to see it, people don't know why to vote and where their money goes," Véran said.

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The mayor of Fréjus, David Rachline, vice-president of the RN, did not come to greet him. On Facebook, he denounced a campaign trip "at taxpayers' expense, just a few months before the European elections". The visit took place a few days after the publication of a book by journalist Camille Vigogne Le Coat, "Les Rapaces" (published by Les Arènes) denouncing Mr. Rachline's high train and his links with a powerful local entrepreneur who was very involved in public procurement.

"It's a job that seems serious to me, that was essential, and I imagine that it will lead to answers, whatever form it takes," Véran said. Asked by AFP whether a judicial investigation had been opened, the Grasse prosecutor's office declined to comment. In a statement issued by the city on Friday evening, David Rachline "formally disputed all the actions attributed to him". The city also announced its intention to file a lawsuit against the journalist and her publisher for public defamation.