The charismatic Marine Le Pen has campaigned hard against free trade and the European Union, and has pushed the party’s traditional tough line on crime and immigration.
Marine Le Pen said she would balance France’s books if elected president by leaving the euro, slashing immigration, taxing imports and tapping the central bank for cheap loans instead of the debt markets.
The National Front leader, who ranks third in opinion polls, spelt out the financial planning behind her campaign promises just over three months before the first round of the presidential contest on April 22.
Exploiting discontent over globalization and the debt crisis in Europe, Le Pen has sought to lure voters by detailing her plan to knock the country’s bloated public deficit to zero by the end of 2017.
She said she would raise 200 billion euros ($260 billion) over five-years, in large part by restoring the autonomy of the French central bank and getting it to lend to the government at cheap rates in order to slash debt costs.
Her economic nationalism has seen her continue to closing the gap with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. The Ifop poll for Paris Match showed that in the first round, to be held April 22, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande would finish first with 27 percent, followed by Sarkozy with 23.5 percent and National Front candidate Le Pen on 21.5 percent, the poll published today showed today. Another poll however found that Marine Le Pen is more popular than Nicolas Sarkozy which ranks Le Pen as second instead of third.
Mr Hollande is staking out his position as a more reliable, more caring reincarnation of the late President François Mitterrand – without the eloquence or, so far, any clear program.
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