EU under the microscope as French presidential candidates kick off 2017 campaign

Paris: The French presidential campaign swung into gear on Tuesday with the major candidates taking to the airwaves in an attempt to gain an early year advantage.

The nationalist Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Front National who pollsters predict may make the second round of voting, used media appearances to renew her attacks on the European model of immigration, budget controls and currency union.

Ms Le Pen stuck closely to her party’s traditional themes in an hour-long interview on RMC radio. Socialist contenders including former prime minister Manuel Valls and former education minister Vincent Peillon held press conferences setting out their policy agendas, while the frontrunner Francois Fillon will speak on the evening news.

“The French want less Europe and more France,” Ms Le Pen said, promising a referendum on France’s relations with the European Union within six months of taking office if elected.

Source: EU under the microscope as French presidential candidates kick off 2017 campaign