France's Le Pen hardens tone as campaign clock ticks down
France's Le Pen hardens tone as campaign clock ticks down
21 Abril, 2017, 02:24
A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates, Benoit Hamon, left, Emmanuel Macron, center, and Marine Le Pen in Paris, France, Monday, April 17, 2017. You would be wrong.
The populist Le Pen, a leading candidate, called for a "national insurrection, peaceful and democratic ... to give France back to its people". But that threat is precisely why Europe must address seriously the possibility of her winning, however unlikely it may seem.
Although the data suggests that Macron will still win the second round, the fact that Le Pen is in with a chance could cause the euro to wobble, French bond yields to rise and a decline in the Cac and Eurostoxx index. She has positioned herself as the antithesis of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and pledged to leave the EU's border-free Schengen Area and the euro zone.
She has pledged that she will insist the European Union accept reforms restoring the powers of national governments over a broad range of policy areas, or else organise a referendum on leaving the bloc. For example, the French bookmakers have seen French traders betting on Fillon winning rather than Le Pen, whereas the United Kingdom and USA bookmakers' see Le Pen beating Fillon.
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But there would be important differences between Brexit and Frexit. Le Pen has a limited base.
However, they also show Le Pen losing in the run-off whoever she faces, as many voters would rally behind her opponent simply to keep the far-right out of the presidency.
Given such demands, markets sense Le Pen holds a much deeper ideological hostility to the European Union than Melenchon, whose principal objection is to the bloc's insistence on austerity policies - a view shared by many more centrist voters. She has heaped praise on the UK's Brexit decision and wants France to follow suit.
A poll by the BVA firm published Wednesday evening said Macron led with a one-point advantage over Le Pen, with Fillon and Melenchon four points behind. "That's more or less "plan A" for Le Pen", said Florian Hense, European economist at Berenberg Bank in London.
This will be my first measure: to restore national borders to the French, to regain mastery in order to know who is entering our country [in order] to fight against the danger of Islamist terrorism [and] migrants [who] come and hit us in the heart.
She entered politics by joining her father's party at 18.
"The FN top brass has chose to go full throttle for far-right voters".
Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of Front National, is running nearly neck-and-neck with Macron. To this end, he is seeking to build a new political elite to serve in a National Front government and help overcome resistance to the party's agenda from France's "deep state".
Left-leaning Le Monde newspaper warned that Le Pen's claim that she would have prevented attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives was "absurd". They had met while sharing a cell during a jail term for public offenses in 2015.
Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election. Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, said he was walking in the area near a metro station when he heard four to five shots.
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