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France's Marine Le Pen hails Brexit, urges 'Frexit' vot...

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

France’s Marine Le Pen hails Brexit, urges ‘Frexit’ vote

By AFP
24 Jun 2016 0

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Friday hailed Britain's decision to leave the European Union and called for a similar referendum in France.

“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.

Le Pen later told a press conference that the vote showed it was possible to leave the EU, and that France could do the same.

“Europe will be at the heart of the next presidential election” in April 2017, she said.

If elected next year, Le Pen has declared she would become “Madame Frexit” and call a referendum on France’s EU membership within six months.

“France has possibly a thousand more reasons to want to leave the EU than the English,” Le Pen told a gathering of far-right parties in Vienna last Friday.

A study by the Pew Research Center in Washington released two weeks ago showed that French voters were the second most eurosceptic in the bloc, behind Greece.

The poll showed 61 percent of French voters had an unfavourable view of the EU, compared to only 48 percent in the UK.

The eurosceptic, anti-immigration FN says the EU is suffering from a “democratic deficit” and has long urged all bloc members to follow Britain’s example.

Le Pen has accused the EU of pursuing closer integration “against our will”.

She says the union is responsible for high eurozone unemployment and has failed to keep out “smugglers, terrorists (and) economic migrants.”

The Brexit vote has fired up eurosceptic populists across the bloc, with Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders also calling for an EU referendum in his own country.

There are growing fears that the British vote to leave could trigger a domino effect across the continent.

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© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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