The party leader has refused to speak on a public platform where the EU flag was displayed.
French TV channel TF1 removed a European Union flag from its studio after Marine Le Pen insisted only the French flag should be visible behind her during an interview with the broadcaster. According to local media, TF1 agreed to remove the flag Tuesday night.
The European Commission’s representative office in France, tweeted: “Proud of our flag, symbol of unity, solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe. Let’s not hide it,” after Marine Le Pen refused the blue, yellow-starred flag of the EU.
The FN was also not amused by the EU representative’s tweet. “You’ll see, we’ll soon stuff your oligarchic rag in the cupboard,” Florian Philippot Le Pen’s second-in-command, tweeted in reaction after the EU’s tweet.
Le Pen remarked that she was being elected by French voters and not the Union. “I want to be the president of the French Republic. I don’t want to be European Commission president. I consider the EU has done a lot of harm to our country,” Le Pen told TF1 when asked to explain her demand that the EU flag, a frequent feature in such situations, in the background, be removed.
Si si, vous allez voir, on va bientôt ranger au placard votre torchon oligarchique 😉. Vive le drapeau 🇫🇷! https://t.co/RzhDMGCnNN
— Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) April 19, 2017
Opinion polls are confused as the gap with Marine Le Pen’s other contenders keep changing, but the largest demographic for National Front support comes from younger voters aged between 18 and 24, where Le Pen polls at 40 percent. In the UK, the anti-immigration UKIP polled at just eight percent, suggesting there is a clear economic reason in France for the unemployed youth voting Le Pen.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far-left candidate, has come out for Europe and the EU, AFP reported. An FN offical Joffrey Bollée noted that Mélenchon was “indeed an agent of the system like the others”. His statement appealed to the party’s young voters.
Youth unemployment in France touches almost a quarter of workers, in Germany it is under seven percent and in the UK it is 12 percent, according to data collated by the website, Trading Economics.
Decades of economic mismanagement by Socialists and Centrists have resulted in high levels of youth unemployment, little employment security and reduced social mobility. On Monday Le Pen pledged to suspend all immigration with immediate effect if elected, a proposal that does not appear in her manifesto.
Two of the most prominent figures in the Front National, David Rachline and Marion Marechal-Le Pen, are in their twenties.