French Far-Right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has softened her stance on the euro after making an electoral pact with “Stand-up France’, a smaller right-wing party led by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.
In a marked change of policy from earlier
commitments, Le Pen told a French newspaper:
“This means converting the single currency into a common euro, a currency that will not affect daily purchases, but only large companies that trade internationally.”
Before the first round elections, Le Pen’s 35th policy of 144 read:
“To support French companies in the face of unfair international competition through the implementation of intelligent protectionism and the restoration of a national currency adapted to our economy, the vehicle of our competitiveness.”
When asked about her economic priorities back in January, Le Pen said:
“Monetary and budgetary sovereignty, because there is no free-state without a currency, and then economic sovereignty, to be able to implement economic patriotism.”
In a tweet from 22nd February 2017 the former National Front leader wrote:
“The euro is the currency of the bankers, not the people who have seen the decline of its purchasing power and mass unemployment.”
“L’euro est la monnaie des banquiers, pas du peuple, qui a vécu la baisse de son pouvoir d’achat et le chômage de masse.” #MLPTF1— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) February 22, 2017
Le Pen had repeatedly said that, if elected, she would seek to loosen the EU’s structure calling a referendum on the outcome within six months and recommending a ‘Frexit’ from the bloc if she did not get partner countries to agree to her terms.
Quitting the euro has been among Le Pen’s least popular policies, but with a week to go until polling,she seems to be playing down that part of her programme.
Le Pen’s alliance with ‘Stand-up France’, which will see her nominate its leader Dupony-Aignon as Prime Minister if elected, was announced in a statement in which she also loosened the timetable for her proposed currency overhauls.
“The transition from the single currency to the European common currency is not a pre-requisite for all economic policy, the timetable will adapt to the immediate priorities and challenges facing the French government,” Le Pen wrote.
“Everything will be done to ensure an orderly transition …and the coordinated construction of the right for each country to control its own currency and its central bank.”