France's Le Pen sells armoured car for cash

30th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

LePen has put his armoured car up for sale on the online auction site eBay to face up to the financial crisis gripping his party.

   PARIS, April 30, 2008 - French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said Wednesday he has put his armoured car up for sale on the online auction
site eBay to face up to the financial crisis gripping his party.

   "The National Front is not bankrupt because its assets are greater than its
debt. But that means we have to cash in the crown jewels, as it were. They are
being sold," the veteran far-right leader told France Inter radio.

   "I am even selling my armoured car, to tell you the truth. It's on the
Internet, it's all very public" said Le Pen, 79, whose party is negotiating
the sale of its historic headquarters in the plush Paris suburb of Saint Cloud.
   The bidding race for Le Pen's car, a 1992 blue Peugeot 605 model with full
leather interior, started Monday and was already nearing 13,000 euros (20,000
dollars) on Tuesday. The auction closes on May 9.

   "To be treated as a collectors' item. Jokers please abstain," reads the
eBay ad, which specifies that Le Pen used the car daily throughout last year's
presidential race, in which he gathered around 10 percent of first round votes.
   In 2002 the firebrand far-right leader shocked Europe by making it through
to the second round of France's presidential election.

   But his party has racked up millions of euros of debts after losing state
subsidies thanks to its unexpectedly poor showing in last year's parliamentary
elections, with a round of layoffs planned in the party ranks.

   Le Pen made headlines last week for repeating an incendiary claim that the
Nazi gas chambers were a "detail of history", in a magazine interview.

   Anti-racism and Jewish groups threatened immediate legal action against the
National Front chief, who already holds several convictions for racism and
anti-Semitism.

[AFP / Expatica]

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