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The French will very much want to know who Jordan Bardella is.

Jordan Bardella: The potential Prime Minister of France, he is 28 years old and remains a mystery to many
The French will very much want to know who Jordan Bardella is.
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: This was an interesting question when Jordan Bardella was just the head of the country's largest party, the far-right National Rally.
But now that he is being talked about publicly as the next Prime Minister of France, the answer to this question has become an urgent matter.
The country will go to the polls in early elections called for by French President Emmanuel Macron, after the insult he was subjected to at the hands of the National Front party in the European elections last Sunday.
If the National Front wins another big victory after the second round of voting on July 7, Macron will have no choice but to give it a chance to govern. If that happens, Jordan Bardella - who shares party leadership with Marine Le Pen - is expected to be appointed prime minister.
The French all know the basics of Jourdan's personality, and his rapid rise from an unemployed school dropout in the northern suburbs of Paris to Le Pen's protégé and party leader.
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They know that he is still ridiculously young, as he is only 28 years old, but this seems to have become less important these days, as experience is no longer so important, as Macron, the current president, is only 46 years old. While his prime minister is 35 years old.
They know that he is always elegant, very good-looking, and a good speaker.
But what he is thinking about is where he stands ideologically, and what kind of person he is. These are unknown matters so far, and the French have a clear feeling that the man they see as good-looking is shrouded in ambiguity about the content, substance, and what he carries.
The official version of Bardella promoted - the one on the poster - is that he is a young man who grew up in a poor area of Seine-Saint-Denis and, after living in an environment beset by drugs, poverty, lawlessness and illegal immigration, comes to believe that the answer lies only with the far right. .
As he himself said: “I am in politics because of everything I have experienced in this country, and to prevent this from becoming the norm in all of France, because what is happening here is not normal.”
But in fact, Jordan was actually raised by his mother, Luisa, who lived alone in the Cité Gabriel Berry area in the town of Saint-Denis, so his experience is real enough. His parents are of Italian descent, and his paternal grandmother was Algerian.
But Jordan's father, Olivier, who left Jordan and his mother when Jordan was very young, ran a drinks distribution company and was doing relatively well. He lived in the town of Montmorency. Jordan did not go to the nearest public school from his home, but rather to a school affiliated with a semi-private Catholic institution attended by middle-class children.
In order for Le Monde to write a recent biography of Bardella, the newspaper's writers had to go to Saint-Denis to find friends and acquaintances.
They found that it left no trace. His friends - from different ethnic backgrounds - recall that he was a fan of video games, created a YouTube channel to discuss the latest releases, and noted that he gave literacy lessons to immigrants after hours in high school when he was 16, but they did not recall any interest. Specific to his far-right politics.
“My theory is that he looked around the political world and identified where there was the best chance of climbing the ladder,” Chantal Chatelain, a high school teacher, told Le Monde.
Jordaens joined the party when he was 17 years old, and his rise has been rapid. It happened because he became part of Ms. Le Pen's outer circle.
Much of the top of the National Front revolves around personal relationships and clan loyalties, as when Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, was at the head of the party then known as the National Front, and Jourdan became the lover and intimate associate of the daughter of an old National Front member, Frederic Chatillon. 
Within days of getting to know Le Pen in 2017, she appointed him party spokesman. In 2019, she asked him to head the party's list of candidates in the European elections, which the National Front won, and he became a member of the European Parliament, and then in 2022, she appointed him president of the party.
According to Pascal Hemeau, a media trainer who worked with Jordaens for four years, Le Pen immediately noticed how the young man's idealistic story of the hardships of the French suburbs would play into the party's favour.
Pascal Hemeau parted ways with Bardella after a dispute over money, so his testimony must be treated with caution, but today he describes the leader of the National Front as a product of pure PR.
Humo says of Bardella: "He was an empty shell in terms of content. There wasn't much, he didn't read much, he wasn't curious. But he just absorbed the elements of the language that Marin gave him."
Humo said he worked for several months to get Jordan to get rid of his stiffness and smile more naturally.
"I had to bring out the humanity in him," he says. "My job was to make people who might hate him say: 'Oh my God, even though he's a fascist he's nice!'
Biographer Pierre-Stephan Forte is another critic of Jordan Bardella, and points out that there is little substance behind this elegant image.
He adds: "He is like a chameleon. He adapts perfectly to his surrounding environment. He is a first-class opportunist. There is no ideology behind him. He senses where he can exploit opportunities, and gets there early."
In fact, it is impossible to identify Jordaens with any of the National Front factions or the various political clans. At different times he was with the “social” wing, focusing on the poor and building social security housing, and sometimes with the “identity” wing, focusing on race and preserving French culture. But mainly he goes where Ms. Le Pen goes.
Like her, and the party as a whole, he has a general view centered around a tough response to crime and immigration, and has spoken of France being “flooded with immigrants,” but in terms of details, the answers remain deliberately vague.


Copyright 2007