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Marine Le Pen. Screenshot from YouTube

Le Pen denounces union leader who marches with Salafists

The President of the National Rally (RN) and MP, Marine Le Pen lambasted union leader Philippe Martinez after he said that the RN were "opportunists in the service of populists".

Published: November 20, 2019, 7:45 am

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    Martinez suggested that by supporting the mobilization of December 5 against President Macron’s pension reform, the RN had no real notion of what it meant.

    But Marine Le Pen described his remarks as “shameful”. Philippe Martinez, General Secretary of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), was the guest on November 13, on Sud Radio. During the show, Martinez hotly criticized the support of the National Rally (RN) for the mobilization of December 5 against the pension reform.

    He said that “this is not the first time that the RN acts as the opportunists and in the service of populists,” AFP reported.

    “What is this rubbish? These poor union leaders are totally confused,” responded Marine Le Pen, on November 14, invited as a guest on LCI. “They should rather return to demonstrate with the Salafists as they did last Sunday” during the march against Islamophobia.

    “That is their only reason to exist,” she added. “If this man really was sincere in his approach, he should be pleased that political leaders, including the president of the number one party in France, support the withdrawal of pension reform,” said Marine Le Pen. “But he does not rejoice because he is actually thinking of his own advantage, and it is shameful, it is unworthy, it is not on par. And that’s the reason why there are fewer and fewer members in the unions. […] These people are fighting only for themselves,” she said.

    The president of the RN invited “those who are already retired not to lose interest in this reform” and join the mobilization. “It is in the interest of the whole nation that our pension system should allow those who are going to retire to live with dignity. But that will not be the case with this reform. It is a gigantic ruse.”

    She told LCI: “This pension reform is deeply unfair. The French can no longer stand being shorn like sheep. They are always the ones from whom efforts are required, while savings are possible in other areas, such as the EU or immigration.”

    Le Pen said her party wanted “to return to 40 years of contributions with the possibility, if you have 40 years of contributions, to leave with a full pension at age 60”.

    She also welcomed the proposed bill on Social Security fraud to be adopted by the National Assembly. But because it is dominated by the presidential majority, it seems unlikely since the government has declared itself unfavorable to this “experimentation”.

    The Senate with a conservative majority adopted on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 a first reading of a proposal for a law proposed by the Republicans to fight against social benefit card fraud.

    The Vitale social security card. Wikipedia

    Known as the Vitale card, the bill outlines a biometric version of the it integrating a digitized image of the fingerprints of the beneficiary.

    The idea is not new, and it was supported by Marine Le Pen in 2012. The objective is to fight against fraud with the use of the Vitale card, by securing the identity of its holder. The admission of most officials is that the financial loss of this fraud is difficult to quantify.

    “The fight against fraud is a major goal of the government,” said Christelle Dubos, Secretary of State to the Minister of Health. However, she quickly raised several arguments against the proposed law, especially the cost, but also the issue of the protection of personal data.

    Above all, she considered it “inappropriate to launch a new experiment” because a new Vitale e-card operating from a smartphone is being tested in two departments (Rhône and Alpes-Maritimes).

    But Senator Nathalie Goulet, spearheading the fight against document fraud, on the contrary defended “a very useful text”, saying that “we must end the denial” .

    The left voted against it denouncing a “stigmatization of the precarious and foreign people”. Socialist representative Nadine Grelet-Certenais complained: “Let’s not be won over by technological solutionism all over the place.”

    RN Senator Stéphane Ravier congratulated those involved in advancing the text, saying it is in line with the commitment of Marine Le Pen for the 2017 presidential election to merge a biometric Vitale card with an identity document.

    “The fight against fraud is essential,” said Martin Lévrier (LREM), however, saying that “the future is in the e-card.”

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