[1/5/17] JAMIE WHITE– French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said she wants to take France out of the Euro and reintroduce a new national currency after a potential “Frexit.”
Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right party National Front, said she would hold a referendum on France’s place in the EU and pledged to hold a vote within six months of winning the election.
“More and more European citizens realize their economies have been suffocated by the euro,” she told reporters at a Paris press conference. “The French want less Europe and more France.”
“I want a national currency with the euro as a common currency.”
Le Pen is referring to the ECU (European Currency Unit) framework, which is a basket of currencies that served as an aid in reducing fluctuations between European state currencies for two decades until the euro was introduced in 1999.
“The ECU existed alongside a national currency,” Le Pen stated. “A national currency co-existing with a common currency would not have any consequences for French daily life.”
Le Pen’s deputy Florian Philippot explained that this proposal did not mean that Le Pen has changed her position about leaving the euro.
“A currency following the ECU model is not a currency you have in your wallet or your bank account. It’s an accounting currency between countries,” he said.
“It could be a model, maybe even a transitory one,” he added.
Le Pen’s economic adviser Philippe Murer echoed a similar sentiment.
“With a return to the ECU, we could retain a trace of the euro,” said Murer, who is also Le Pen’s assistant at the European Parliament.
“We will only determine these questions after consulting the French people. The nation must be able to decide for itself.”
The two-round French presidential election will take place on April 23 and May 7 of this year, with Le Pen set to win at least the first round of voting. Her political rise has been propelled by deep discontent with the refugee crisis, the economy, and EU trade policy.