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French far-right leader Le Pen pledges vote on EU exit

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French far-right leader Le Pen pledges vote on EU exit

Marine Le Pen - Photo © European Union 2013 - EP

(ATHENS) - The head of France's far-right National Front party has said she will ask the French people to vote on pulling out of the EU if she is elected president in 2017.

"My idea is to tell the French people that if they elect me," in 2017, "six months later there will be a referendum," Marine Le Pen told Greek TV channel Mega.

Several opinion polls predicted victory for Le Pen's surging anti-EU and anti-immigration FN in Sunday's local elections, through her party finished second but with its highest ever vote. She is hoping to carry the momentum forward to a successful run at the presidency in 2017.

"The European Union is death, the death of our economy, our social welfare system and our identity," she said in the interview broadcast Monday.

Le Pen also called on Greece to negociate its own exit from the eurozone rather than submit to the demands of its creditors and Brussels. She said she welcomed the arrival of radical left party Syriza in power in Greece after January's election.

"(Greece's) only solution is to negotiate an organised exit from the euro," she said. "As long as the government tells the Greek people they can remain in the eurozone while fighting against austerity, it will at worst be lying and at best wrong."

She predicted that if Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submits to creditors' austerity demands he will pay for it with his popularity ratings.

"The Greeks need their currency back," Le Pen said.

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