French far-right candidate wants gold standard return
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen advocated a return to the gold standard Wednesday during a meeting with Republican representative and presidential hopeful Ron Paul.
The gold standard, a monetary system used through the 1930s and then revived after the Second World War but ended by US president Richard Nixon in 1971, "is one of the most efficient means to fight against speculation," Le Pen said.
She called Paul a "visionary" of the gold standard.
Paul's office said he had a "quick private meeting" with Le Pen, after uncertainty over whether the meet-up would take place due to scheduling conflicts.
"They primarily discussed monetary policy and the gold standard," Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills told AFP.
Paul, 76, has long espoused a philosophy calling for less government, reduced taxes and decriminalizing prostitution and drugs. He has been a frequent critic of the Federal Reserve and advocated a return to a gold standard.
Paul is currently seeking the Republican Party nomination to run for president in 2012. He also sought the nomination in 2008 but failed to win any primaries, and was the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1988.
Le Pen, of the anti-immigrant National Front party, also met with ultra-conservative Republican Representative Joe Walsh. She said she was meeting other US lawmakers, but declined to identify them out of fear they would cancel due to "pressure."
The political candidate accused the French government of exercising pressure to reduce the impact of her visit, which she said remained a success despite scoring meetings with only a small handful of political figures.
"Even before I left for the United States, the French media said it was already a failure. That's not at all the case," she told a throng of French journalists.
"The French government is very upset with my presence here and is seeking to minimize the impact of my visit by any means possible."
Following her meeting with Walsh, Le Pen expressed concerns about a politically correct discourse and behavior in the United States that close the door on views like hers.
"I thought the United States was a free country but I realize that political correctness is wreaking havoc even here and that pressure from the press seems to be a disturbing element," she said.
Le Pen, who is due to visit the United Nations headquarters for a luncheon with francophone ambassadors and diplomats on Thursday, also accused France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud of having sent "a rather strong message" that she was not "welcome."
She was also scheduled to give an international policy speech at the United Nations, and to visit anti-Wall Street protesters before concluding her US trip Saturday in Florida.
Her agenda was filled more with visits to centers of power like the US Capitol than with meetings with political leaders.
© 2011 AFP