Le Pen's Euro Contortions Underline French Reluctance to Exit

01 May, 2017, 16:44 | Author: Jacqueline Ellis

Prior to the election, there was a widespread view overseas that vote for Marie Le Pen would show the depth of anti-EU sentiments in France, a founding member of the European Union.

France's presidential candidates are pushing their rival views of Europe, as far-right Marine Le Pen calls the shared euro currency "dead" and centrist Emmanuel Macron visits a Holocaust memorial and calls for unity.

Wanted or not, Le Pen was praised by 88-year-old father Jean-Marie, the co-founder of her National Front party whom she expelled in 2015 after he reiterated anti-Semitic comments.

Unlike a factory visit last week when Ms Le Pen upstaged Mr Macron and took selfies with workers, her visit to the Alteo plant in the town of Gardanne appeared to fall flat.

Le Pen's alliance with "Stand-up France", which will see her nominate its leader Dupony-Aignon as Prime Minister if elected, was announced in a statement in which she also loosened the timetable for her proposed currency overhauls.

Marine Le Pen said on France-2 television Sunday night that the political rupture with her father "is definitive". Macron, a 39-year-old former economy minister, now has the support of 59.5 percent of voters, compared with 40.5 percent percent for Le Pen, according to Bloomberg's composite of French polls.

Dupont-Aignan was previously a member of the UMP party (the predecessor to Les Républicains), but left in 2007 due to disagreements with then party leader, Nicolas Sarkozy.

She also attacked current French President François Hollande, saying he was using Macron "to hold onto power like a mollusk".

The son of a man killed on the sidelines of a 1995 far-right march has joined French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on a Paris bridge.

Jean-Marie Le Pen is holding the Joan of Arc event again, a march his daughter wants nothing to do with.

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Both Macron, who launched a new party a year ago, and Le Pen, whose National Front has only two seats in the National Assembly, have faced questions about their ability to build a parliamentary majority.

Despite his lack of political experience, polls now show he will beat Le Pen by around 20 percentage points.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is hunting for votes in rural areas of France where his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen, has made inroads among people who feel left behind, with hard access to public services, mobile phone connections and other modern conveniences.

Polls consider Mr Macron the front-runner, but the race has been exceptionally unpredictable. However, he wondered whether the Front National has really changed or if it has merely altered the image it wants to convey to voters.

It's the second time in three days that Macron is visiting a site tied to France's wartime history.

Macron finished first on 24 percent, ahead of Le Pen with 21.3 percent, Fillon with 20 percent and Melenchon with 19.6 percent.

Hollande said abstaining would encourage Le Pen "by leading to her getting a score, in percentage terms, that she shouldn't reach".

Nassar noted that Ms Le Pen was now attempting to destroy Franco-German cooperation.

This is the first time the FN has entered such an alliance as Le Pen's party has been traditionally shunned by the rest of the French political spectrum as a xenophobic and antidemocratic party, Efe news reported.


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