Le Pen Says Leaving Euro a Question of Time as She Praises Trump

  • Far-right candidate calls for return to national currency
  • France’s Le Pen hails Trump’s policies and job creation

Why the French Election Matters to Global Markets

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen reiterated her promise to take the country out of the euro and said her brand of economic nationalism is part of a broader trend that’s sweeping the world.  

In a speech in Paris laying out her economic policies, the far-right National Front candidate said France has been “pillaged by the neo-liberal global economic order” and must learn from what’s going on in Washington, Beijing and London.

“Look at the jobs that Donald Trump has brought back to America,” Le Pen said. “From Donald Trump in the U.S. to Xi Jinping in China to Theresa May in Britain, economic patriotism is on the march. The European Union is last one left to still belief in the illusion of a borderless world.”

She said the euro had led to a hollowing out of industry in France, Italy and Spain, and it was time for a “friendly separation.” She also said the country’s sovereignty is at risk because 65 percent of French government debt is held outside the country.

"The euro is a corpse that still moves," Le Pen said. “It’s not a question of if we’ll leave the euro but when.”

Le Pen pledged to put the central bank under government control, nationalize toll roads, and make the public sector buy French goods. “My job isn’t to create jobs in China,” she said. She reiterated her call for a 35 percent import tax on products made by French companies overseas. She also said she’d force multinational companies to pay more taxes in France.

Polls show that Le Pen will win the most votes in the April 23 first round of the French election, but lose heavily to independent Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off.