Marine Le Pen blasts EU for ‘blind relationship with Islamist states’
Speaking at a rally in Lille on Tuesday, the 47-year-old politician, who is running as the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional presidential candidate in the December elections, criticized the movement of refugees in Europe and EU policies aimed at curbing the ongoing crisis, claiming that EU leaders have shown a lack of geopolitical vision.
Le Pen said that problems in France are rooted in the country’s "crazy immigration policy, made without discernment, and with the abandoning of the principle of assimilation."
According to Le Pen, a similar lack of foresight was the reason behind the "Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian chaos, with the humanitarian, political, military and migration consequences that the world and Europe are currently facing."
"Their lack of judgment and blind conformity pushed them to look away from proselyte Islamist states such as Qatar [and] Saudi Arabia, and where there is no doubt left, from Erdogan’s Turkey and its hypocritical attitude," she added.
Le Pen went on to remark that "clandestine people and those who spread hatred should be systematically expelled to their countries of origin."
"The government and its president are confined to symbols. They don’t fear a paradox when they call people to wave the national flag, to invoke the nation but always appeal to post-national logic, meaning anti-national from Brussels."
Amid the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the National Front (NF) – which has a reputation for its anti-EU and anti-immigration rhetoric – has gained in popularity in France, according to polls.
Last week France denied entry to about 1,000 people, citing security concerns since it reinstated border controls on November 13 following the multiple terror attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed and over 350 were injured by Islamic State (IS, former ISIS, ISIL) gunmen and suicide bombers.
The terror attacks in the French capital occurred amid the worst refugee crisis Europe has faced since World War Two. Fears mounted after reports that several of the Paris attackers had slipped into the EU along with the crowds of asylum seekers fleeing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. This has reinforced the criticism of the EU policy of welcoming refugees. Over 1 million asylum seekers are expected to arrive in Europe by the end of this year, more than twice as many as last year.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said last week that European countries cannot take in any more new refugees, adding that tighter control of Europe's external borders would determine the fate of the EU.
Le Pen is currently on trial in Lyons facing hate speech charges for comments made at a rally in 2010, when she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation. She has denied any wrongdoing, but could face up to a year in prison if found guilty of inciting racial hatred.
Following the Paris attacks, Le Pen's support skyrocketed. Far right groups across Europe have rushed to seize on the terror act to blame Islam, along with thousands of Muslim refugees.
According to the latest polls, Le Pen is a shoo-in to capture north-western France and the Marseille-Nice region in the upcoming election. The FN has never won a regional government election before. A series of regional polls by BVA on Sunday showed the party gaining between four and seven percent compared to similar polls before the Paris attacks on November 13, the Independent reported.