French National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen has claimed that the European Union was the first victim of coronavirus, citing a lack of solidarity in combatting the outbreak.
Ms Le Pen said that the political bloc even failed when it gave announcements on the virus — a likely reference to statements made by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for member-states’ borders to remain open earlier this month.
“This is extremely serious because the first thing that we do when we are confronted with a human, plant, or animal epidemic is obviously to immediately control the borders to prevent the spread of the epidemic,” Le Pen said.
She went on to add, Le Point reports, that “the EU has said the opposite because it is an ideologist. Free Movement is a religion. Even death does not succeed in convincing its leaders that it is obviously necessary, for a given period, to close the borders to prevent people from regions affected by the virus from coming and spreading it. This is exactly what has happened in Europe.”
Marine Le Pen: Brexit is a ‘Terrifying Failure’ For the European Union https://t.co/JhfeY0aT53
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 3, 2020
Commenting on the aftermath of the outbreak, Le Pen said the EU would “learn nothing from it” but that the member-states themselves will take away the need to be more strategic and not put as much faith in globalism during a crisis.
“It is the end of the new world that Emmanuel Macron touted, even before he could have started it,” she predicted.
The comments come just days after Le Pen’s niece, former MP Marion Maréchal, also criticised the EU, saying: “China came to the aid of Italy before France and meanwhile, government spokesman Sibeth Ndiaye was giving lessons to the Italians.”
“Angela Merkel no longer even pretends to play collectively and has not once uttered the word ‘Europe’ in the speech addressed to her fellow citizens,” Ms Maréchal also said.
Le Pen has been a noted critic of the European Union for years, once advocating that France should hold a referendum on its membership of the bloc in 2015. A year later she stated that every EU member should hold an EU referendum.
While she and the RN have since backed down on holding such a referendum, Le Pen has championed Brexit, and stated earlier this year that the United Kingdom leaving the EU had been a “terrifying failure for the EU”.
French Populist Marion Marechal Slams the EU for Response to Coronavirus Pandemic https://t.co/b46RT7gGDD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 24, 2020