Marine Le Pen has promised not to rush into ditching the euro if she wins the French election
The leader of France’s right-wing Front National party, who is current favourite for the first round of votes by tipped to lose out in the final round, has moved to reassure voters ahead of next month’s vote.
Mrs Le Pen told French daily Le Parisien: “It (leaving the euro) must be done in a rational, well-prepared way.
“I don’t want chaos. Within the negotiation calendar I want to carry out the euro would be the last step because I want to wait for the result of the German election (in September) before renegotiating it.”
Her comments are being seen as an attempt to appease middle ground voters in the hotly contested race for the Elysees Palace to be held on April 23.
Mrs Le Pen has long warned that the “totalitarian” EU is on the brink of collapse, and has repeatedly pledged to replace it with “another Europe,” the “Europe of the people,” based on a loose cooperative of nations.
While assuring voters she would not do anything to damage the French economy her unbending anti-Brussels stance, however, remains unchanged.
Speaking to Europe 1 radio on Monday, the conservative candidate said, although she would not force the French to leave the EU and would hold a referendum on EU membership within six months of winning the election, she would quit the presidency if the French voted to stay in the bloc.
It (leaving the euro) must be done in a rational, well-prepared way
Marine Le Pen
She said: “If the French vote to stay in the EU, then that means that they want to be governed by the EU.
“But 70 per cent of my project is based on the assumption that France will have regained its independence, and it cannot be implemented if we stay in the bloc and keep the euro.
“Politics is not a rodeo. I do not want to mount a horse and then hope that I will be able to cling on and never fall off. I want to go places. If French voters do not let me go where I want to go, then I will let them choose another president.”
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The Front National leader is favourite to win the first round of voting
Mrs Le Pen also vowed to reinstate border checks to control illegal immigration coming into France.
She said: “We must reinstate national borders, end birthright citizenship, and stop giving illegals access to social housing and welfare benefits. Because all these things have turned France into a top destination for illegal immigrants.”
Mrs Le Pen added that French citizenship had to be “inherited or merited” – one of her favourite battle cries –, and said children born in France to foreign parents could not apply for a French passport once they turned 18 if they had a criminal record.
In an interview Mrs Le Pen said leaving the currency exit must be 'rational, well-prepared'
The right-wing chief also launched a scathing attack on centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, her nearest rival.
She said: “He is permissive and staunchly pro-immigration. What’s more, he has no project for France. He has not told the French what he will to do cut unemployment and stop illegal immigration.”
Mrs Le Pen and Mr Macron are currently neck and neck in polls: an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll of voting intentions published on Tuesday shows the hard-right candidate would win the election’s first round on April 23 with 25 per cent of the vote, but lose the May 7 run-off to her centrist rival.