MS Risk Blog

France’s Le Pen to Abandon “Frexit” and Franc Pitch

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Britain’s Telegraph newspaper has quoted France’s National Front (FN) party’s chief economic strategist as stating that FN leader Marine Le Pen will abandon her pitch to leave the European Union (EU) and restore the French franc. This comes after Ms Le Pen disclosed on 19 May that the far-right party would begin debating its trademark anti-euro stance after parliamentary elections in June.

Bernard Monot, the party’s chief economic strategist, told The Telegraph that “there will be no Frexit. We have taken note of what the French people told us.” He was further quoted as stating, “I continue to think that the euro is not technically viable but it makes no sense for us to keep insisting stubbornly. From now on our policy will be to renegotiate the EU treaties to give us more control over our budget and banking regulations.” Rumours emerged shortly after the second round of the presidential election earlier this month that ditching the idea of leaving the EU and abandoning the euro would be necessary for the FN if it wants to win in the next presidential election five years from now.

Leaving the euro and the EU were key pledges of Ms Le Pen’s failed presidential bids in 2012 and this year. Opinion polls have shown that a majority of French voters are in favor of keeping the currency.

President Emmanuel Macron has sought to reinvigorate the Franco-German relationship, which lies at the heart of the EU. During the presidential election campaign, he warned that the euro may not exist in a decade if Paris and Berlin fail to bolster the currency union. Mr Macron beat Ms Le Pen in a 7 May run-off vote, however the long campaign exposed deep divisions over France’s role in Europe, immigration and policies to revive a sluggish economy bedevilled by high unemployment. The latest approval ratings for President Macron stand at 62% approval.