Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will not end quickly

Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

France

Far right's economic plans not credible, French say

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-05

The economic policies espoused by the far-right National Front of Marine Le Pen (pictured) ahead of April's presidential election, including a plan to leave the euro, lack credibility among 70% of French voters, a poll released Saturday showed.

REUTERS - France's far-right is pushing a nationalistic economic platform for April's presidential elections, but 70 percent of voters believe its financial programme lacks credibility, including its plan to leave the euro, a poll published on Saturday showed.

Marine Le Pen, who replaced her father as head of the National Front last year, has sought to broaden the appeal of the party beyond its traditional anti-immigrant constituency to attract a younger generation of voters.

She ranks third in opinion polls with just under three months to go before the first round of the contest on April 22, and at one point in January, was just a couple of points behind conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to a CSA poll for M6 television, which questioned 1,008 adults, 69 percent of people found the National Front's economic policies not credible with less than two in eight people considering them favourably.

"Seven people in 10 interviewed want France to keep the euro with just a quarter wanting a return to the franc," CSA said. "This explains in part the difficulties the National Front candidate has in convincing people about her economic plan."

Le Pen announced a raft of policies in mid-January to balance France's books including taxing imports, tapping the central bank for cheap loans instead of debt markets and giving French citizens priority over foreigners for jobs.

Her anti-euro and protectionist stance has struck a chord, especially among working class voters disillusioned by economic hardship since the start of the global financial crisis.

In a preview of an interview to be aired Sunday on M6, Le Pen appeared to downplay her plans to exit the euro saying she did not want to leave the bloc too quickly or cause panic.

"I don't want us to find ourselves overnight facing the collapse of the euro," she said.
"It's for that reason that my project ... will prepare for a return to national currencies in six to eight months."

In the running

Since Le Pen unveiled her plan, both Sarkozy and Socialist front runner Francois Hollande have outlined economic proposals and appear to be extending their lead over her. Fourth-placed centrist Francois Bayrou is showing signs of narrowing the gap.

A daily IFOP poll for Paris Match magazine on Friday put Hollande firmly ahead in the first round with 29.5 percent of voter intentions, followed by Sarkozy on 24.5 percent, Le Pen on 19 percent and Bayrou on 12.5 percent.

According to the Institut Montaigne think tank, France would stand to lose up to a million jobs and up to a fifth of its economic wealth if it abandoned the euro. Gross domestic product would shrink by anywhere between 6 and 19 percent over a decade.

When asked if she would still lead France out of the euro zone without the agreement of European partners, Le Pen appeared to open the door to a change in policy.

"No (France would not leave), but I think they will agree," she said. "People have had enough of these bailout plans."

Le Pen has said France would raise almost 87 billion euros ($114 bln) by leaving the euro -- although she refused to explain how.

Despite strong public support, the former lawyer is also facing a battle to win the backing of 500 elected local officials, such as mayors, before the end of February in order to run.

Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, barely squeezed through in 2007, and Marine Le Pen said this week she was still 150 signatures short.

French presidential rolling poll: http://r.reuters.com/was36s.

 

Date created : 2012-02-05

  • FRANCE

    French far right rallies around Joan of Arc

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    The National Front and the quest for the Jewish vote

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Le Pen: 'The US model cannot be applied to France'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)