Macron: Neil Oliver says ‘Covid fascism’ could cost him
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The incumbent French President claimed his opponent is “talking rubbish” over her stance on France’s future in the EU, stating his belief that most French people are not in favour of leaving the bloc and Ms Le Pen is hiding her true beliefs from voters.
Mr Macron said while his own views on the EU were “clear”, Ms Le Pen was attempting a “disguised push” to follow in the UK’s footsteps and have France leave the Union.
Ms Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, has previously expressed a desire to leave the European Union but is now said to be in favour of reforming it from within by transforming it into “an association of nation states”, reported The Times.
She has offered her support for a referendum on the issue, telling the press: “It’s up to the French if they want to withdraw [from the EU].”
Mr Macron hit back at his rival’s claims, saying: “Marine Le Pen is talking rubbish when she says she would not pay [the EU’s] bills and that she will change the rules on her own.”
In a reference to the endeavours of former British PM David Cameron, who also pushed for EU reform before the Brexit referendum of 2016, Mr Macron said: “There are people who have tried that in the past and they have had problems.
“[Le Pen] wants to leave but she does not dare say so. That’s never good.
“She says that she wants an alliance of nation states but she is going to find herself in a corner and she is going to try to come up with an alliance with her friends.”
He continued to warn about the dangers of Frexit, saying the only other European countries willing to join her outside the EU would be right-wing Hungary and Poland.
The French president added: “It would be a strange club. I don’t think it is a club that would be good for France.
“I don’t think it would be good for Europe.”
He praised the EU for “[changing] the life of this country” through its provision of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic and funds to help the economy recover after the crisis.
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The centrist Mr Macron will face Ms Le Pen for the final round of voting on April 24, in what is expected to be a tight race for the presidency.
Mr Macron came out on top in the first round on April 10, receiving 27.9 percent of the vote, with Ms Le Pen coming in second on 23.2 percent.
Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in third on 22 percent, with Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen now keen to secure the support of the 7.7 million who voted for him.
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