Marine Le Pen and the National Front pretend to want to get out of the European Union and the euro.
mercredi 18 mars 2015
Auteur : par Jacques NIKONOFF
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Accueil > Analyses et propositions > Politique > Textes du M’PEP > Marine Le Pen and the National Front pretend (...)

Texte de Jacques Nikonoff, porte parole du M’PEP, intitulé :


Ce texte, diffusé par le M’PEP, sera utilisé pour un article publié dans le journal « Le Monde » . Vous trouverez également sa traduction en Français et en Italien.


By Jacques Nikonoff, spokesman of the Political Movement for the Empowerment of the People (M’PEP).

(Translation : Cecile Guillerme)

On 2 March 2015.

Everyone -or almost - believes that Marine Le Pen wants to leave the European Union and the euro. We’ve all heard her say this on television or on the radio. Listening to the icon of the National Front (FN), who saturates the broadcasting media, obligingly invited by the mainstream media, you might think so. This impression is reinforced by the leaders of the left and right-wing parties who, they too, also explain that Marine Le Pen and the National Front want to leave the European Union and the euro. How therefore can we doubt, since everyone says so ?

Yet it is wrong ! Marine Le Pen and the National Front in actual fact neither wish to leave the euro nor leave the European Union. They pretend they do, they are staging an act. Why then say the opposite of what seems so obvious to many of us ? Because Marine Le Pen and the National Front are merely touting for votes. Their aim is to give the impression they want out of the European Union and the euro to that part of the electorate that wants to hear such views, and give the opposite impression to those that leaving the EU and the euro scares.

The FN does not want to leave the euro for the following four reasons :

  • It wants to "renegotiate" the European treaties and not unilaterally leave, because for the FN the sovereignty of France is negotiable ;
  • It uses the exit from the euro as a gimmick depending on surveys ;
  • It advocates a "gradual and orderly" exit from the euro, whereas the exit from the euro is urgent and no other countries in the area have expressed a desire to leave ;
  • It zigzags between conflicting positions, hence raising doubts as to its willingness to leave the European Union.

I. The FN wants to "renegotiate" the European treaties and not unilaterally leave because for the FN the sovereignty of France is negotiable

Marine Le Pen, after unveiling her” presidential programme” in November 2011, introduced its financial assessment on January 12, 2012 (the presidential elections in France took place on April 22 and May 6, 2012) :

One might think that Marine Le Pen would have explained in her project and its assessment that France needed urgently to exit the EU and the euro in order to put our country back on its feet again, and especially to finally tackle unemployment. This was not the case. Instead, Marine Le Pen did all she could to smooth things over by being far more reasonable than her media appearances had lead to suggest.

  • France must prepare with its European partners to put an end to the unfortunate experience of the euro and prepare a profitable return to national currencies, allowing competitive devaluation to oxygenate our economy back onto the path of prosperity.

How is it possible to seriously consider to “prepare” with its European “partners”, “to put an end to the unfortunate experience of the euro” ? Among the governments of the 19 member countries of the euro area (after the entry on January1. 2015 of Lithuania), not one country wants to leave the euro zone. Neither are there, in any one country in the euro zone, political forces on the threshold of power announcing their intention to leave the euro. So who are these “partners” the FN wants to come to an agreement with ? For the FN, the exit from the euro is conditioned by the agreement of the other European countries. If they do not agree - and this is the case - there will then be no exit from the euro. And that’s how the FN confuses minds !

  • European cooperation will enable to examine, for the duration of negotiations, all the conceivable options for restoring the monetary sovereignty of member states.

The mind boggles ! How can one talk about “European cooperation” while recent years have shown the unrelenting harshness of this system, especially with countries such as Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal ? How can one imagine that “European cooperation” can possibly dismantle what is at the very heart of the “European construction”, i.e. the euro ! The FN is simply courting popularity. How can it negotiate France’s sovereignty ? How humiliating ! All the more so as in her plan of action, Marine Le Pen has just been elected. Would it mean she was not elected on that basis ? There are therefore two possibilities. Either Marine Le Pen considers that leaving the EU and the euro is necessary and in this case she was elected on this basis clearly stated in her programme, and there is no need for a referendum nor to negotiate with Brussels (which will never endorse the self-collapse of the EU), or she does not believe in or does not intend to leave the euro. In which case, the referendum is only staged to blow hot air.

The FN programme falls within the field of ultra-orthodox neoliberalism

You have to pinch yourself when reading in Marine Le Pen’s presidential programme : “according to the estimates of my 2013 debt reduction plan, the political objective is to clear the debt smoothly without any social devastation to the French population, and to restore a virtuous cycle and fiscal orthodoxy”. In 2012, Marine Le Pen said that “the technical challenge was to aim in 2018 for a return to budget balance (zero deficit) and by 2025 a gradual reduction of around 50% of the original debt capital, i.e. 30% of 2025 GDP”.

This is exactly the plan implemented today by François Hollande and the Troika in Greece ! The FN does not intend to cancel the debt of France ; in fact it is conforming with the neoliberal dogma that it exposes in writing.

This is not surprising if one is willing to remember that Marine Le Pen, during the conflict over pensions under Sarkozy, declared on October 22, 2010 : “Together, government and unions are throwing France into chaos ... These past two weeks France has settled into chaos, what with strikes, demonstrations and blockades ... Zero tolerance must be applied to all the rioters.” Remember, too, the following release by the National Front on April 8, 2013 : “The National Front expresses its condolences to the Conservative Party after the death of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. It honours the memory of a ruler with firm beliefs deeply attached to the sovereignty of her country and a resolute opponent of federal Europe. “.

II.- The FN uses the exit from the euro as a gimmick depending on the polls

On January 12. 2012, Ms. Le Pen held a press conference to present the financial assessment of her presidential programme. On March 21 that year, the FN published a 16-page booklet summarizing the Programme. Here is what wrote the next day, one of the most pro-European French newspapers Liberation : “The FN candidate now wants to submit her plan to exit the euro to a referendum. One way of giving reassurance on the flagship proposal of her economic programme that worries the French.” The reporter was right because it shows that by speaking of a referendum on the euro, Marine Le Pen wants to reassure some of her electorate, and beyond that conquer a new electorate hitherto reluctant to leave the euro. Using the argument of a referendum is perfect in this regard because it allows everyone to be content.

There is no need for a referendum to leave the euro ! If Marine Le Pen and the FN really want out of the euro, they must put this proposal in their presidential programme. If Marine Le Pen is elected, she will be legitimately able to implement her programme and leave the euro while keeping to her commitment. No need to hold a referendum ! True democracy is to say what one intends to do in one’s programme, and then to implement the programme once elected.

The newspaper Libération writes anonymously, that one of Marine Le Pen’s closest associates admits that the referendum was "not materialized" in the draft. He added that “it’s been weeks since we’ve watered down the subject because the leadership of the FN sees the slogan of the exit from the euro as one of the causes for the FN candidate’s drop in votes in the polls. Credited with 13.5% (CSA) to 17.5% (FIFG), Marine Le Pen had seen in February and early March 2012 the gap separating her from the top two (Hollande and Sarkozy) increase to more than 10 points whereas she was hot on the heels of Nicolas Sarkozy in January. In January 2012, Marine Le Pen explained that her stand on the euro made it difficult to win over the senior citizen electorate. At the same time, it was difficult to give it up, as another significant part of her electorate was in favour. It was indeed the theme of exit from the euro, which had allowed the leader of the extreme right party to hog the limelight on economic issues and broaden her area of competence beyond immigration and insecurity.

That’s why Marine Le Pen and the FN pretend to want to leave the euro. Marine Le Pen, whose flexibility is legendary, is doing a balancing act : convincing the electorate that wants to leave the euro that she is in favour of this, while pretending she is not to the unfavourable part of the electorate. It is a very clever act because it leaves people to believe she wants out of the euro when in fact she does not.

In short, all this is merely petty politicking and electioneering.

III.- The FN advocates a “gradual and orderly" exit” from the euro whereas the exit is urgent and no other countries in the area have expressed a desire to leave

A leaflet published by the National Front, entitled “The euro destroys your savings” (see below) demonstrates the double standards of the party on the European Union and the euro.

In this leaflet, at the start, everything appears straightforward, when the FN rightly notes that the euro has led to higher prices and a far more violent crisis than in countries which are not part of the area. But how can one believe that “the gradual and orderly dissolution of the euro would enable a to stamp out the crisis from above” ? What a joke ! The exit from the euro cannot in any case, be “gradual”. Instead, it should be implemented as fast as possible. For there is a social emergency. France needs first to recover all the instruments of its sovereignty including its monetary policy. Furthermore We must not leave the ruling classes time to organize a bogging down of the euro exit process. To advocate a “gradual exit” is a scheme aimed at hiding the fact that one is not prepared to take the bold steps needed for France’s recovery. The exit from the euro cannot be “organized” .It would mean that the European oligarchs agree to sell off the euro. All 28 of them ! This shows once again that the FN’s proposal to try to change the European Union from the inside is merely calculated to appeal to public opinion. It also shows the duplicity of the FN on this issue. To tell the truth Marine Le Pen does not want out of the euro nor the European Union.

IV.- As for the exit from the European Union, - the FN zigzags between conflicting positions, hence raising doubts as to its commitment to leave the European Union.

We have observed that the FN rarely talks about leaving the European Union. We understand why, since its position, at different times and moods of Marine Le Pen can change completely from one to the other. There is good reason to doubt the commitment of the FN to actually leave the European Union.

Thus, in the financial assessment of the FN Presidential programme (January 2012) the following is stated : “GRADUAL economies on bad budget spending from 5 to 70 billion € / year (EU budget freeze, social fraud, cost of decentralization, immigration costs, earnings from the rescuing of the euro and aid to states of the EZ, etc ...).” If the FN is in favour of the “freezing” of the contribution of France to the European Union then France is still part of the EU !

One might add that Marine Le Pen in her political statement for the presidential election of 2012, did not mention any exit from the European Union nor the euro ... Furthermore, how can the FN claim on the one hand, it wants out of the EU system and on the other remain in the EU by taking part in the charade of the European elections with elected European Members of "Parliament” ?


Endorsing the fable of the FN as the Crusader in favour of an exit from the EU and the euro, is a means for the leaders of the left and right-wing parties, actively supported by the mainstream media, of granting the FN with the monopoly of the exit of the European Union and the euro and hence demonizing the very idea and those who support it by assimilating them to the FN. For what purpose ? In order to win the second round of the next presidential and general elections, whether the duels may be PS-FN or UMP-FN duels (or even Left Front-FN). The more the FN will have been demonized by the PS, the Left Front, EELV, the NPA, the UMP, the Modem, etc., the more their electorates will be willing in the second round to vote for any other candidate but an FN one. All this is but a shadow theatre in which everyone is pretending.

It is important not to err in one’s judgement about the FN. Marine Le Pen and the FN leaders are the defenders of big business and national upper-class bourgeoisie, they are, in fact, anti-social, anti-workers and anti-republican. They divide society by their racism and xenophobia.

For M’PEP, the exit from the euro and the EU is not an end in itself, it is only a means to regain national sovereignty, the number one condition for resolving the crisis. This is why we are entitled to come into office in order to implement our programme to exit from the European Union and the euro immediately and unilaterally. There is no other democratic issue than validation through elections.

Jacques Nikonoff