France: 'I am ready for Elysee', Marine Le Pen tells ANSAmed

FN leader says 'polls not a surprise, we are ready and able'

09 October, 18:51

    Marine Le Pen, leader of French far-right political party National Front (FN) Marine Le Pen, leader of French far-right political party National Front (FN)

    (by Paolo Levi) (ANSAmed) - PARIS, OCTOBER 9 - National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen, 47, said Wednesday she is ready to be France's next president.

    Le Pen spoke in an interview with ANSAmed on the same day an IFOP survey for the Nouvel Observateur showed her right-wing party leading in the polls ahead of the 2014 European elections - an absolute first for France.

    ''Yes, I feel I am ready for the Elysee'', Le Pen assured ANSAmed over the phone. ''I can't stand those who say we're not competent enough'' to lead the country, she added.

    She ''is not surprised'', she says, at the results of the survey.

    ''Today we are the leading party. The Socialists and the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) can only win if they make a deal and form a pact of national unity'', added Jean-Marie Le Pen's daughter, who came in third after current Socialist President Francois Hollande and outgoing UMP president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential elections.

    Le Pen junior took over from her father as party chairman in a congress in Tours in 2011, and has been trying to change the party's image from one of racism and xenophobia to a more moderate version ever since.

    ''The French are clear-headed. A lot of people are becoming aware'' of France's true situation, she said. Which explains the support of personalities such as actor Alain Delon, who publicly announced he favors the FN in an interview with Swiss daily Le Matin. Le Pen went on to explain that hers ''is not an extreme right party'' but rather a ''patriotic, extremely democratic one''. It stands for more ''popular referendums'' with a ''Gaullist vision'' of national sovereignty and independence.

    ''Also, we are not against a market economy'', she continued.

    Asked whether she thinks her party resembles Italy's anti-establishment, anti-euro 5-Star Movement (M5S), Le Pen said that ''there is no movement like ours right now. Ours is a mature party, with 40 years of history behind it. The M5S movement is a recent one, born of citizens' exasperation at the current crisis''.

    Le Pen, who opposes the EU and the single currency, reiterated the need to liberate France from the yoke of the Brussels technocrats - and of others.

    ''It's time to put an end to the status quo. We no longer want to be vassals of the United States or the Gulf monarchies'', she warned.

    The FN leader rejected the idea that her party lacks a leadership that is competent enough to rule the French republic.

    ''Bollocks'', she said matter-of-factly. ''Today we can count on a lot of people who are willing to work with us. And they are highly trained, too''. (ANSAmed).

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