In the latest instance of EU interference in its member states’ domestic political affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier tried to tell the French electorate how to vote in the race.
He said: “Do not listen to the siren songs of those who promise you a great French future after getting rid of all that is part of France today, namely its role as a guarantor of European stability and a pillar of the European Union.”
Steinmeier – who is obliged to refrain from party politics in Germany as part of his role as president – also tried to convince the French people the crumbling Brussels bloc was an asset “for all Europeans”, despite “difficulties”.
He said: “Maybe if we had talked more about the problems and risks involved, we would have avoided some setbacks.
“Nevertheless, despite all the difficulties, the European Union remains an asset for all Europeans.”
The German president said the EU remains an asset to "all Europeans"
Le Pen is set to go through to the run-off against Emmanuel Macron, according to polls
Steinmeier added: "The EU might be complicated sometimes but it an asset for all of us, including France.”
The German president’s intervention comes just over a week before France’s first round of voting takes place on 23 April.
Polls currently suggest the race is wide open, with candidates Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Melenchon within just a few points of each other.
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Steinmeier urged voters not to believe France has a brighter future outside the EU
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French far right Front National (National Front – FN) party's Parliament member and candidate for the regional elections in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (PACA)
The second round of voting – a run-off between the two winners of the first round – is set to take place on 7 May.
Front National leader Le Pen and independent centrist Macron are the favourites to face each other against each other in the final vote next month.
But after a late surge in support for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon – who intends to pull France out of Nato and possibly the EU should he win – analysts claim the final result is impossible to predict.