Le Pen, head of the anti-EU, anti-immigrant National Front (FN) and seen by pollsters as highly likely to make a two-person runoff vote in May, has marked out Europe as a major plank in her programme with broadsides at the EU and the euro currency.
Speaking at a gathering of far-right leaders from Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands in the German city of Koblenz one day after US President Donald Trump took office, she said: "2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up. I am sure 2017 will be the year the people of continental Europe wake up.”
Loud applause from the room of hundreds of supporters followed.
"We are experiencing the end of one world and the birth of another," she
"I don't say every country has to leave the euro… But we have to leave the possibility if a country wants to leave," she said to laud applause, adding that the election of Trump was a "bigger embarrassment" to neo-liberals.
She urged European voters to follow the example of Americans and the British and "wake up" in 2017 at a meeting of far-right leaders.
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen declared Britain's vote to leave the EU
We are experiencing the end of one world and the birth of another
Marine Le Pen
Le Pen, head of the anti-EU, anti-immigrant National Front (FN) and seen by pollsters as highly likely to make a two-person runoff vote for the French presidency in May, has marked out Europe as a major plank in her programme.
The far-right leaders met under the slogan "Freedom for Europe" with the aim of strengthening ties between their parties, whose nationalist tendencies have hampered close collaboration in the past.
"The key factor that is going to set in course all the dominos of Europe is Brexit. A sovereign people chose … to decide its destiny itself," Le Pen said.
Le Pen spoke at a gathering of far-right leaders in the German city of Koblenz
"The second coup did not come long after: the election of Mr Trump to the presidency of the United States … his position on Europe is clear: he does not support a system of oppression of peoples," she added.
In a joint interview with the Times of London and the German newspaper Bild published on Monday, Trump said the EU had become "a vehicle for Germany" and predicted that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc as Britain did last June.
Populist anti-immigration parties are on the rise across Europe as high unemployment and austerity, the arrival of record numbers of refugees and militant attacks in France, Belgium and Germany feed voter disillusionment with traditional parties.
FACTS about Marine Le Pen
Wed, November 23, 2016
Marine Le Pen is a French politician who is the president of the National Front, a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces.
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A French politician who is the president of the National Front (FN), a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces.
The mood is mirrored in the United States, where Trump was inaugurated as US president on Friday.
Several leading German media have been barred from the Koblenz meeting, which is being organised by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), the smallest group in the European Parliament, in a year when the parties are hoping for electoral breakthroughs.
Also at the meeting were Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV) who was last month convicted of discrimination against Moroccans, and Matteo Salvini of the Northern League who wants to take Italy out of the euro.
She urged European voters to follow the example of Americans
In the Netherlands, Wilders is leading in all major polls before national parliamentary elections on March 15. Again hailing Trump's election, Wilders told the meeting: "Yesterday a free America, today Koblenz, and tomorrow a new Europe."
Protesters demonstrated outside the venue, with Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats, junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition, due to join the protest.
This comes after she congratulated Mrs May for her “protectionism” after comparing her to Mr Trump.