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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Far-right candidate attacks 'deadly' globalisation, immigration

    Far-right candidate attacks 'deadly' globalisation, immigration

    In a key campaign speech almost nine weeks ahead of France's presidential elections, French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen slammed globalisation and immigration, warning of adverse effects on the country's economy and national identity.

    By Joseph BAMAT Special correspondant, Lille (text)

    Far-right leader Marine Le Pen slammed rival candidates on Sunday, calling them servants of the the banking and finance industries in a key election campaign speech in the northern city of Lille, only nine weeks ahead of presidential elections in France.

    “There is no left, there is no right, just two candidates who represent the interests of financial markets and the banks,” Le Pen said in reference to incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Party candidate François Hollande.

    With roughly 15% of voter intentions, according to opinion polls, the National Front candidate is in third place and battling to pull closer to leading candidates Sarkozy and Hollande.



    A far right-eous cocktail with the press

    Le Pen's speech packed the 1,500-seat auditorium in the northern city of Lille, where her party's two-day presidential convention has been organised ahead of the April 22 first-round poll.

    In an hour-long address, the far-right candidate took aim at the globalised economy and immigration, claiming their ravaging effect on France.

    “We need to resist the free market policies that threaten our economy, and yes, even our identity,” Le Pen told cheering supporters.

    "And those princes of the finance and banking world who are nothing more than a global mafia and exploit man with no-one controlling them, ” the 43-year-old former lawyer added, once again infusing her speech with language more characteristic of the left than of the right.

    “Patriots of the world, unite!” Le Pen clamoured at one point in her speech, and later argued that the human person needed to be “placed at the centre of the economy.”

    Le Pen also announced a raft of policies in January aimed 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 here, especially among working class voters who have become disillusioned by economic hardship since the start of the global financial crisis.

    Taking on Merkel

    Le Pen began her speech by mentioning the economic woes of France's north. The region surrounding the city of Lille has suffered from chronic unemployment for decades, ever since the decline of its once-important coal and textile industries.

    She said she had personally travelled through the “industrial graveyard” that could be seen in the abandoned factories in the outskirts of the city. “They are a sad reminder of our glorious past,” Le Pen added.

    However, she quickly turned her attention to the EU policies she said were stealing France's sovereignty and threatening to cripple the country's economy. “Brussels is destroying Greece. It will next ravage Italy and Spain, and eventually... us.”

    The far-right leader slammed Sarkozy for his involvement and interest in the European Union, and on two occasions criticized German Chancelor Angela Merkel, warning the leader to stop meddling in France's affairs after Merkel announced in January that she would be personally endorsing Sarkozy's re-election bid.

    Le Pen also criticised what she called the EU's “pourous borders”, but spent little time discussing the issue of immigration -- traditionally, a key campaign issue for the National Front, along with insecurity -- and preferring instead to focus on the 'deadly' effects of high finance.

    As Marine Le Pen tried to boost her support in northern France, her key rival Nicolas Sarkozy chose to present his re-election manifesto on the exact date and time in a massive party meeting at the opposite end of the country, in the southern city of Marseille.

    Sarkozy’s victory in 2007 was in part due to his ability to siphon votes from the far-right party -- a strategy that Le Pen is hoping to counter in 2012.

    "Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to renew 2007 by encroaching on our turf," Nicolas Bay, Le Pen's adviser on immigration issues, told reporters in Lille. "That means we have to go on the offensive as we have no intention of letting him do it again."

    The two candidates have been trying to lure voters with their anti-immigration rhetoric. Sarkozy has vowed to limit immigration, setting himself the goal of cutting legal migration to France to 150,000 people a year, and having cut the quota to 180,000 from 200,000 in past years.

    In a bid to draw more far-right voters, he also proposed a referendum on battling illegal immigration, something the far-right has been championing for several years.

    For Le Pen, Sarkozy’s immigration and security policy was only a ploy for electoral gain.

    But after two days of avoiding too much focus on immigration, Le Pen effortlessly returned to her controversial anti-immigration territory again by claiming she had proof that all meat in Paris was Halal.

    According to Bay, speaking to the public on such issues such as halal meat are important, for they show the influence of Muslim values in local policies and the danger they pose to France’s secular tradition.

    Far-right candidate attacks 'deadly' globalisation, immigration - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

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  2. #2
    Senior Member SicNTiredInSoCal's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Mexico's Maternity Ward :(
    This lady has it right (no pun intended). She is quite popular and with good reason. Sarkozy is gonna have a fight with this one.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dogpile's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Whatever faults Le Pen may have, she is exactly what France needs - correct that, MUST HAVE - at this point in its history. If she does not win, France will be a Islamic state within 20 years.

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