Katya Adler Profile picture
Apr 21 5 tweets 2 min read
Last night‘s much anticipated Big Head to Head debate between presidential hopefuls Macron and Le Pen will likely fail to dramatically affect the outcome of Sunday‘s vote. Le Pen was smoother, calmer, better prepared than 2017. Macron attacked skilfully /1 bfmtv.com/politique/elec…
49% of those asked in France‘s BFMTV poll thought Macron came out on top. Half of them thought he was the more arrogant of the two. An image he‘s trying to fight in order to woo floating or apathetic voters .. /2
They arguable pose more of a threat to him on Sunday than Marine Le Pen herself. Polls are still tight enough that a victory by outsider Le Pen can’t be ruled out as a possibility. She’s closer to power than she’s ever been in the past .. /3
Thanks, in part to the strong dislike many French voters have developed for Macron over his 5 years as President. NB Key after Sunday‘s vote will be parliamentary elections in June. They will heavily influence effectiveness of the President 🇫🇷#FrenchElections2022 /4
!Apologies! The BFMTV figure above should read 59% of spectators asked thought Macron won the debate. Not 49% as I wrote above. BUT This does not mean the debate itself is necessarily changing voting patterns. Last night was a far cry from the 2017 debate disaster for Le Pen /5

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

Apr 15
NEW: Germany is showing new openness to oil sanctions against Russia - according to diplomatic sources off the record as debate still ongoing. Pressure is mounting on Berlin, especially as it dithers (again) over weapons deliveries (specifically tanks) to help Ukrainian army /1
It’s a how - no longer an if - as regards EU oil sanctions. The 27 EU member countries are each deliberating whether it should be a phased ban on Russian oil OR /2
Differentiated by type of oil - eg diesel etc OR differentiated by delivery method eg via gas pipeline .., This, in order to give big EU consumers of Russian oil eg Germany but also Hungary and Austria - time to find alternative supply sources /3
Read 7 tweets
Mar 22
Will Brussels go for oil sanctions against Russia or not? That is THE big question ahead of EU leaders’ summit on Thursday. Sanctions to date haven’t stopped Russian attacks in Ukraine. Former iron curtain EU countries demand the oil ban. Germany (again) is more reluctant /1
EU energy purchases line Vladimir Putin’s war chest day by day. The EU is more reliant (+ some EU countries eg Germany far more than others) on Russian gas and oil than the US, also UK. EU leaders worry about sanctions impact on energy prices back home. They’re already high /2
But there’s also public pressure in EU to help Ukraine more. Gas supplies are harder to replace quickly. Majority arrives in EU via pipeline. Crude oil *easier* to replace. EU countries can purchase on internat market. That’s why the pressure for EU oil sanctions is building /3
Read 4 tweets
Mar 12
The Elysee Palace (French equivalent of No10) says Putin seemed unwilling to end attack on Ukraine in 1.5 hour long call he had today with Pres Macron + German Chancellor Scholz. Thought to be Macron's 10th Putin call since the invasion. Described as a difficult discussion.. /1
France and Germany demanded an immediate ceasefire and for Russia to start negotiations with Ukraine afterwards. They said an end to the hostilities was needed before serious talks could begin /2
Ukraine's President Zelensky says he also asked Macron and Scholz to demand that Russia release the captive mayor of Melitopol during call. Pres Macron has often come under fire for speaking so regularly to Vladimir Putin. At the EU summit in Versailles last week he told me ../3
Read 5 tweets
Mar 7
Will the EU “weaponise” energy as part of its package of sanctions against Moscow and as Ukraine’s President Zelensky has asked? Some thoughts from me: bbc.com/news/world-eur… /1
After historic military and refugee decisions, the next seismic change bubbling in Brussels is provoked by a simple question: What's the point of punitive EU financial sanctions if Vladimir Putin's war chest is refilled on a daily basis with oil and gas revenues? /2
The EU depends on Russia for 40% of its natural gas and a quarter of its oil imports.
EU countries pay about €1bn a day to Moscow for those supplies, according to Bruegel, the Brussels-based think tank. The US relies far less on Russian energy supplies than Europe
Read 17 tweets
Feb 26
NEW Germany has dropped its block on the delivery of German-made lethal weapons to Ukraine via third countries. It’s a major shift in policy for Germany and could allow an increase of European military assistance to Ukraine /1
Many weapons in Europe are at least partly German-manufactured which means Berlin has a say on their use and export. Until now the German government blocked lethal weapons being sent to conflict zones /2
In a separate development linked to the Russia crisis: More and more EU countries now saying they’d support ejecting Russia from the global financial transactions network SWIFT - despite the impact that may well have on their own economies /3
Read 4 tweets
Feb 22
In Brussels, European Commission has been ‚finalising targeted sanctions‘ following President Putin recognition on the two breakaway regions in E.Ukraine and movement of troops thereas ‚peacekeepers‘. EU sanctions expected to be targeted at this stage and v much in line with US/1
There’s been a lot of close coordination. Brussels doesn’t expect a formal announcement of the sanctions today as the package has to be endorsed unanimously by 27 member states BUT /2
Brussels insiders say there will be huge pressure from EU and US on any member state that might drag its heels. Focus today is also on diplomacy. And the what happens next. France holds the rotating EU presidency and is taking the lead. /3
Read 4 tweets

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