Refugee Crisis Backlash: Here Comes FREXIT
Dumping the euro and exiting the EU are part of a newly-released manifesto by France’s presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen.
The aim of this program is first of all to give France its freedom back and give the people a voice,” Le Pen said, introducing the manifesto on Saturday in Lyon, Reuters reported.
In the manifesto, which consists of 144 “commitments,” the 48-year-old candidate says a future French government should leave the euro zone, hold a Brexit-style referendum, levy taxes on foreign workers, lower the retirement age and increase some welfare benefits, while cutting income tax.
The document, however, is quite vague on how the National Front’s economic program would allow it to reduce taxes and at the same time raise welfare payments.
The National Front leader also promised extra public spending to build new prisons for 40,000 more inmates and hire an additional 15,000 police officers.
If the presidential elections resulted in a win for Marine Le Pen, she says she plans to push for a review of relations between EU states, aiming at very loose cooperation with no single currency. In case other members of the EU don’t agree with Le Pen’s plan, she said she would then initiate a referendum to leave the union.
Opinion polls, cited by Reuters, predict that Le Pen would go forward to the second round of election on April 23, but would fail to secure the victory on May 7, possibly paving the way for pro-European centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron to take the presidency.
However, with the unexpected win of Donald Trump in the US, Britain’s decision to leave the EU and corruption speculation surrounding conservative French presidential candidate Francois Fillon all happening amid the overall rise of populism across Europe, the National Front believes in Le Pen’s success.
“We were told Donald Trump would never win in the United States against the media, against the establishment, but he won… We were told Marine Le Pen would not win the presidential election, but on May 7 she will win,” top National Front official Jean-Lin Lacapelle said, addressing party officials and members.