Don't miss




New high speed railway threatens Kenyan wildlife

Read more


Senegalese court convicts 13 people in country's first mass terrorism trial

Read more


Macron's bodyguard scandal grows

Read more


Trump invites Putin to Washington, France celebrates the World Cup, Macron's first scandal, Nicaragua's crackdown

Read more


A closer look at France's World Cup victory

Read more


I want your sax: France's love affair with jazz

Read more


Video: Maracaibo, the story of Venezuela's collapse

Read more


Knife crime on the rise in London

Read more


Nicaraguans 'betrayed' by Ortega, says Bianca Jagger

Read more


France’s Le Pen, Mélenchon present contrasting visions at campaign rallies

© GEORGES GOBET / GUILLAUME SOUVANT, AFP | Jean-Luc Mélenchon (L) in Chateauroux and Marine Le Pen (R) in Bordeaux at separate political rallies in France on April 2, 2017

Video by Solange MOUGIN


Latest update : 2017-04-03

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told a political rally on Sunday that the euro currency which she wants France to ditch was like a knife in the ribs of the French people.

The leader of the eurosceptic and anti-immigrant National Front (FN) also told the rally in the city of Bordeaux that the forthcoming election for president could herald a "change in civilisation".

Encouraged by the unexpected election of Donald Trump in the United States and by Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Le Pen hopes to profit from a similar populist momentum in France, though opinion polls suggest she will lose the May 7 run-off.

France's far-right Le Pen holds standing-room-only rally in Bordeaux

"We are at the mercy of a currency adapted to Germany and not to our economy. The euro is mostly a knife stuck in our ribs to make us go where others want us to go," Le Pen said to loud cheers and applause.

Reiterating her anti-globalisation and anti-immigration views, she declared: "We do not want France to be open to all commercial and human flows, without protection and borders."

A government under Le Pen's presidency would take France out of the euro zone and bring back a national currency, hold a referendum on its EU membership and slap taxes on imports and on companies hiring foreigners.

Le Pen says she would curb migration, expel all illegal migrants and restrict certain rights now available to all residents, including free education, to French citizens.

She hit out at her two main opponents in the French election, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and conservative candidate Francois Fillon, saying they belonged to "the same system"

"The system is panicking because it sees people are waking up," she said.

Opinion polls forecast Le Pen will do well in the April 23 first round of the presidential election only to lose the May 7 run-off to centrist candidate Emmanuel 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 leading candidates.

Melenchon says Le Pen cannot win

Elsehere in France, left wing firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon told a political rally in Chateauroux, central France, he was convinced Le Pen stood no chance of winning the election.

"A chair, a table, or a bench would be elected rather than her in this country," he said.

Le Pen, Melenchon and Macron are all trying to attract voters disillusioned with mainstream parties.

There some similarities between Melenchon's platform and Le Pen's, both sceptical of the EU and globalisation but offering very different policies as the former Socialist staunchly criticises Le Pen's views on immigration.

Melenchon, who has overtaken the official Socialist party candidate Benoit Hamon in election polls and now ranks fourth, on the heels of Fillon, told his supporters: "the wave is rising, my friends"

Melenchon, a political veteran, whose potential election score in polls has risen to as high as 16 percent in the past few days, has ruled out asking Hamon to pull out of the race and join him.


Date created : 2017-04-02


    Russia 'actively involved' in French election, warns US Senate intelligence chief

    Read more


    Could Marine Le Pen become France's next president?

    Read more


    France's Fillon moves from ‘fake jobs’ to Russia 'fantasies'

    Read more