Hollande warns Europe to focus on growth after far-right triumph
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President François Hollande on Monday said he would not “pull the wool over my eyes” after the far-right scored shock gains in France’s European elections.
He said he would press ahead with reforms and push the EU to prioritise growth and jobs. "Europe has become ... remote and incomprehensible, even for governments," Hollande said in a televised address.
The EU elections on Sunday saw the far right and eurosceptic parties make sweeping gains. Hollande’s Socialist party suffered a painful defeat, winning only 14 percent against Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party, which topped the French vote with 24.8 percent.
Hollande said the remoteness of the EU from the people "cannot continue. Europe has to be simple, clear, to be effective where it is needed and to withdraw from where it is not necessary".
Addressing the nation in a four-minute pre-recorded speech broadcast on French television, he said, “I am a European. It is my duty to reform France and re-focus Europe.
“Tomorrow, at the European Council, I will reaffirm that the priority is growth, jobs and investment,” Hollande said.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
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