France’s far-right National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen © Benoit Tessier / Reuters
French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that NATO exists only ‘to serve Washington’s objectives’, and that she planned to hold a Brexit-style referendum, in an interview with a Greek newspaper.
Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front and a candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, is known for her Euroscepticism and anti-immigrant views. Together with France, she also suggested that Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Greece and Cyprus should also leave the European Union.
“Frexit will be a part of my policy,” she said in an interview with Dimokratia. “The people must have the opportunity to vote for the liberation from slavery and blackmail imposed by technocrats in Brussels to return sovereignty to the country.”
Along with her main rival, the center-right Francois Fillon, Le Pen has called for closer ties with Russia and has criticized NATO expansion into eastern Europe. Le Pen said that she would take France out of the alliance if she became president because, as she said, its existence is no longer needed.
“It was established when there was a risk from the Warsaw Pact and the expansionism of the communist Soviet Union,” said Le Pen. “The Soviet Union no longer exists, and neither does the Warsaw Pact. Washington maintains the NATO presence to serve its objectives in Europe.”
On the topic of immigration, Le Pen said she supported measures to restrict the flow of asylum seekers into Europe.
“I am against the policy which would promote the entry of immigrants into Europe, which cannot accept them … this tsunami of migrants should be limited. Europe does not have the power to ensure they all find work and opportunities to enrich themselves. Immigrants are illegal since once they set foot on European soil … they have violated the law. They must be sent back to their homeland. ”
However, when asked whether the National Front has ties to the far-right Greek party Golden Dawn, a group often described as extremist, Le Pen said she “neither has nor wants” relations with them.
Le Pen is running against former Prime Minister Francois Fillon of the Republican Party in the French presidential elections due to be held in May next year. A left-wing candidate for the Socialist Party has not yet been nominated, as incumbent President Francois Hollande has stated he would not be running for a second term.