Le Pen accuses Emmanuel Macron of leaving France undefended, while painting him as against French values
Paris: French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen spoke relatively little of herself at a rally in the Mediterranean city of Nice and a lot about her adversary Emmanuel Macron, painting him as against French values in an effort to appeal to supporters of defeated conservative candidates.
The 48-year-old Le Pen accused front-runner Macron of leaving France undefended. Yet in an hour-long speech she never mentioned the most controversial aspect of her program—taking France out of the European single currency.
“His program is oligarchic, globalist, individualistic, immigrationist," she said to a cheering crowd of 4,000. “He doesn’t see a nation, but land, he doesn’t see a people, but a population. We have the obligation to warn the French."
With 10 days to go before the final stage of the election, French voters are facing the starkest choice between the candidates since 2002 when Marine’s father Jean-Marie made the runoff contest. While Le Pen wants to put up border controls and tax imports, saying an open world no longer works for most French people, Macron says the European Union is the bulwarks of France’s prosperity and that his rival’s plans would lead to economic disaster.
Speaking to adoring crowd in Nice that repeatedly broke into cheers of “Marine President," she painted a picture of France at the mercy of immigrants and predatory companies should Macron win.
“Macron was an investment banker, and I’m sure he was a good investment banker," she said. “But he sees France as one big trading floor. Like all globalists, he doesn’t understand the desire of people to have their roots, their culture. He never cared about workers."
In the first round, Le Pen took 28% of the votes in the Alpes Maritimes region, more than any other candidate. In Nice itself her 25% score was behind Republican Francois Fillon’s 26%. During the campaign, Fillon took some positions on law and order and immigration that were close to Le Pen’s, though they were far apart on issues such as the euro and international trade.
“Who is closest to Francois Fillon on borders and national identity, it’s Marine Le Pen," Jean-Lin Lacapelle, head of the National Front’s local network said in an interview before the speech.
Le Pen avoided any specifics on economic policy in Nice, simply saying she would "protect" France.
According to Bloomberg’s poll tracker, Macron would take 60.75% in the second round and Le Pen 39.25%.
More than 80 people died on Bastille Day 2016 when a man inspired by Islamic State drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, and Le Pen was more specific on security issues, pledging to re-arm police, and detain or expel all Islamist suspects. Bloomberg
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