Le Pen Aide Briefed French Central Banker on Plan to Print Money

  • Monot met Banque de France chief in Brussels in September
  • National Front would use French central bank to help euro exit

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Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s chief economic adviser Bernard Monot met with Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau in September and set out her party’s plans to take control of the central bank and use it to finance government spending.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of Villeroy de Galhau’s public hearing in Brussels at the economic and monetary committee of the European Parliament, Monot, who also sits on the panel, said in a Feb. 4 interview. The Bank of France declined to comment when asked to confirm the meeting.

The central bank has become one of Le Pen’s key targets as she fleshes out her plans for taking control of the French economy and leaving the euro. She intends to revoke the Bank of France’s independence and use it to finance French welfare payments and service the government’s debts after abandoning the European monetary union.

While the National Front leader is ahead in polling for the first ballot on April 23, she’s still an outsider to become the next president because of the two-round system which requires broad-based support to win the run-off two weeks later.

‘French Asset’

Villeroy de Galhau, who also sits on the governing council of the European Central Bank, pushed back against her proposals in an interview on BFM television Thursday, though he didn’t mention her specifically.

“It’s important that we have institutions and a currency that straddle daily turbulence,” the governor said. “The Bank of France belongs to all French and is at the service of a French asset -- our currency.”

The spread between French 10-year bonds and similarly dated German debt was the widest in more than four years earlier this week, as political uncertainty deterred investors. Villeroy de Galhau described the move as “temporary tension.”

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