Le Pen's programme detailed

29th July 2003, Comments 0 comments

Far-right presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen has certainly made his xenophobic ideas plain. But what does his election programme actually contain?

A brash former paratrooper who has been convicted seven times for making racist, anti-Semitic and defamatory comments, 73-year-old National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen is an old-fashioned nationalist with a simple approach to the problems of crime and unemployment.

Were he to win the 5 May second round run-off against the conservative incumbent Jacques Chirac, Le Pen would begin his crusade by trying to pull France out of the European Union, of which it was a founding member and remains a dominant figure.

But he insists: "I am not an enemy of Europe, I am a partisan of a Europe of nations, a Europe of homelands. I am, however, an adversary of a supranational federalising Europe."

Among his other policies are:

  • withdrawing from the 12-nation euro and restoring the French franc as the national currency.
  • expelling all illegal immigrants, ending legal immigration, imposing strict border controls and abolishing the right to dual nationality.
  • reintroducing the death penalty.
  • outlawing abortion and genetic experimentation.
  • expanding and further empowering the police force.
  • creating 200,000 new prison places.
  • banning same-sex unions, which were recognised as legal by the current Socialist government.
  • cutting income tax with an eye to its eventual abolition.
  • increasing discipline in schools with the reintroduction of "morality" classes and banning the wearing of all religious headwear.
  • introducing a "French first" clause into the constitution, giving French citizens priority in housing and jobs.
  • creating a two-tier welfare benefit system, one for the French and one for foreigners working in France, so that foreigners' care is not financed by French money.
  • providing incentives to French women to stay at home and have children to stem the trend of the falling birthrate.
  • reforming the 35-hour week, introduced by the current Socialist government, and making people work longer hours.
  • increasing the defence budget.
April 2002. With AFP

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