France’s far-right Front National party leader, Marine Le Pen, has said that the tense talks over the debt deal with Greece has revealed the “real face” of European Union which has “brushed aside” the wishes of the Greek people.
Le Pen, who described herself as a “ferocious” opponent to the EU, described the group as a “Euro dictatorship” and insisted that it was up to the Greek government to take responsibility of its future.
“I think that Greece, by saying that it will not quit the euro, in reality it’s making promises that it cannot keep. For the simple reason that the euro and austerity are indissolubly linked,” Le Pen told CNBC.
Greece has been in talks with its euro zone creditors for months, as the country is running out of cash and needs a last tranche of bailout aid in order to meet debt repayments and to pay its domestic wages and pension bill this month.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reshuffled the team which is handling its fraught bailout negotiations, widely seen as a way to push outspoken Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to the sidelines.
“It (the EU) mocks and brushes aside the popular wish expressed in the Greek elections and it seeks to impose a policy of austerity, the continuity of policy of austerity which the Greek people no longer want. And confronted with the choice, who will win? Democracy or Euro-Dictatorship? It’s up to the Greek government to take up its responsibilities,” she said.
Le Pen is widely expected to run for president of France in 2017.The anti-immigration FN won the European elections in France last year with around 25 percent of the vote, and surveys suggest that Ms Le Pen could reach the second round in the “two-round system” used in France.
Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen was the founder of the party over 40 years and is a well-known public figure in France after his controversial comments dismissing details of the Holocaust and numerous runs for president.
Earlier this month Jean-Marie Le Pen, now 86, reiterated comments that Nazi gas chambers were merely a “detail of history” in a radio interview. His daughter condemned the remarks, which led to her father pulling out of regional elections earlier this month, after she opposed his candidacy.
Marine Le Pen said that while she believed some of her father’s comments were “unacceptable” she said he was not a racist.
“If I believed that, I would not be involved in his movement. No. I know that he’s not a racist, but once again, sometimes he has comments that are unacceptable. I said clearly that they don’t reflect our political project,” she said.