Front National leader Marine Le Pen has declared that, following years of unrest, riots, and terrorism, “Mass immigration is not an opportunity for France, it’s a tragedy for France.”
“I will protect you. My first measure as president will be to reinstate France’s borders,” promised Ms. Le Pen, triggering enthusiastic applause and chants of, “This is our home!” from a patriotic crowd of 5,000 supporters waving the tricolour flag.
— Marine in English (@Marine2017_EN) April 12, 2017
“The choice on Sunday is simple,” she said. “It is a choice between a France that is rising again and a France that is sinking.”
She denounced her opponents as merchants of “savage globalisation”, echoing her comments on major rival Emmanuel Macron in an interview with La Croix:
“I have always said that I’d like to be up against Emmanuel Macron in the second round because then the choice will be clear-cut,” she said. “He is an unashamed globalist who wants to speed up the total opening of borders, free-exchange, and the evisceration of France in favour of private and financial interests.
“I, on the other hand, propose a return to the nation-state, the most effective structure to ensure security, prosperity, and democracy, and to protect our identity.”
Ms. Le Pen urged her supporters to fight for that vision at her Paris rally, encouraging them to go try and persuade friends and relatives to lend her their vote amid rumours of record voter abstentions.
“Fight for victory, until the very last minute,” she told them. “If every patriot can this week convince just one abstentionist, just one undecided voter, we are sure to win!”
I will expel from France all foreigners who have been found guilty of an offense or of a crime. https://t.co/oI9SQeCuJd
— Marine in English (@Marine2017_EN) April 18, 2017
The fight against mass immigration and the overbearing European Union were key themes of the speech, with the 48-year-old stating that, in modern France, “The French sometimes have fewer rights than foreigners – even illegal ones.”
The first round of voting is on Sunday 23 April, with the run-off on 7 May.