Meet the new face of far-right France


Marion Marechal-Le Pen, far-right Front National (FN) granddaughter of FN former President Jean-Marie Le Pen, takes part in a press conference on May 11, 2012. She won in the 3rd electoral district of Vaucluse.



Greece wasn't the only important news in European elections Sunday.

France, too, held parliamentary elections that would either strengthen or weaken new President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party.

Hollande's party won, giving him the means to govern France, which is also home to Europe's second-largest economy.

The Socialists scored an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament, giving them a mandate to fight the unpopular economic austerity measures of the previous government.

But tucked beneath the headlines in Greece and France was this little factoid:

Marion Marechal-Le Pen also won a seat in the French parliament.

The 22-year-old law student has minimal political experience, though politics is the family business: she is the granddaughter of Jean Marie Le Pen, the founder of the far right National Front.

She's also the niece of National Front leader Marine Le Pen who, incidentally, lost her seat yesterday.

GlobalPost's Senior Correspondent for Europe Barry Neild profiled the youngest Le Pen on June 9.

Here's the money quote:

While Maréchal-Le Pen is clearly seen as a more electable, more acceptable face of the FN, she denies coming under pressure to stand. She told one interviewer: “In the family, no one is ever pushed, I came to politics spontaneously, there was no obligation. It has to happen naturally."

Well, naturally or not, it happened.

Barry also wrote that, if elected, Maréchal-Le Pen is likely to give President Hollande many sleepless nights.

Let the drama begin.