“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.
Far right French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen has stormed ahead of President Hollande in latest figures revealed by a poll measuring voting intentions ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
Le Pen has been criticized by many in France for what are seen as thinly veiled racist positions. In an interview with Radio-Canada, Le Pen said her party has supporters among the PQ. “The PQ is diverse and vast,” Le Pen said. “It’s not monolithic.”
In an interview with Canada’s French La Presse newspaper published on Sunday, she labeled Canada’s decision last year to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees as “insanity.”
In some districts of France’s second city Marseille, where I live, the party polled over 40 percent in the initial round.
If presidential hopeful Le Pen is found guilty of “disseminating violent images,” she could face up to five years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine.
“The 47-year-old had been accused of ‘inciting discrimination, violence or hatred toward a group of people based on their religious beliefs’ over the comments made on the campaign trail in December 2010.”
Extreme rightist party finished 1st in nearly half of France’s regions in 1st-round voting
The party’s main target is immigrants, and what Le Pen sees as a threat to France from Islam. Le Pen and her niece have said that they would refuse funding to interests representing a single community, a reference to Muslim groups.
And while France’s chattering classes agonise over what this might mean for the future of their country, those elsewhere ponder the impetus that a victory in France might give to the centrifugal forces already gathering in Europe. A Le Pen presidency plus a British vote to leave the EU could summarily end the 20th-century European dream.