Date
23 October 2017
Marine Le Pen waves to supporters at the end of a political rally in Lille, France. Photo: Reuters
Marine Le Pen waves to supporters at the end of a political rally in Lille, France. Photo: Reuters

France’s Le Pen says EU will die, globalists will be defeated

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen the European Union will disappear, promising to shield France from globalisation as she sought to fire up her supporters in the final four weeks before voting gets under way, Reuters reports.

Buoyed by the unexpected election of Donald Trump in the United States and by Britain’s vote to leave the EU, the leader of the eurosceptic and anti-immigrant National Front (FN) party, told a rally in Lille that the French election would be the next step in what she called a global rebellion of the people.

“The European Union will die because the people do not want it anymore … arrogant and hegemonic empires are destined to perish,” Le Pen said to loud cheers and applause.

“The time has come to defeat globalists,” she said, accusing her main rivals, centrist Emmanuel Macron and conservative Francois Fillon, of “treason” for their pro-EU, pro-market policies.

Opinion polls forecast that Le Pen will do well in the April 23 first round of the presidential election only to lose the May 7 run-off to Macron.

But the high number of undecided voters means the outcome remains unpredictable and motivating people to go to the polling stations will be key for the top candidates.

Its opposition to the EU and the euro currency underlines an anti-establishment stance that pleases the FN’s grassroots supporters and attracts voters angry with globalisation. But it is also likely to be an obstacle to power in a country where a majority oppose a return to the franc.

Le Pen has over the past few months tried to tackle this by criticizing the unpopular EU while telling voters she would not abruptly pull France out of the bloc or the euro but instead hold a referendum after six months of renegotiating the terms of France’s EU membership.

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