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20 May, 2016 04:01

'EU is in process of collapsing on itself' – Marine Le Pen to RT

The EU is on the brink of collapse, as two of its main “pillars” are “crumbling” despite the billions of euros spent on keeping the structure from falling, far-right French leader Marine Le Pen told RT, adding that the union would fail if France left it.

READ MORE: Brexit poll: Almost half of Europeans want own vote on leaving EU

“I believe that the European Union is in the process of collapsing on itself for one simple reason. The two pillars on which it’s founded – Schengen and the euro – are in the process of crumbling,” Le Pen told Marie De Douhet of RT France in an exclusive interview. “So they’re in a sort of mad downward spiral in which they’re capable of anything today to try and keep this building standing.”

The leader of France’s hard-right Front National party believes the collapse is not a matter of “if” but “when,” saying the EU “shines from the light of a dead star” while its leaders are struggling to play for time “at the cost of billions trying to hold this structure up.”

As a “revealing” piece of evidence supporting her opinion, Le Pen cited one of Brussels’ recent punitive measures.

“The threat of condemnation of countries which do not accept migrants – a €250,000 fine for each migrant not taken in – is in itself revealing,” Le Pen said.

The European Commission unveiled plans earlier in May to impose a penalty of around €250,000 per rejected refugee on countries that refuse to share the burden of Europe’s migrant crisis.

For countries such as Poland, which is adamantly opposed to taking in refugees, the new compulsory measure would result in a fine of over €1 billion ($1.1 billion), given its existing quota of 6,500 people.

“The threats, the blackmail, now used systematically by the European Union is, above all, a gigantic problem of weakness,” Le Pen said.

Commenting on the migrant crisis, Le Pen said the EU is using immigrants as a tool to drive down labor costs across the 28-country bloc.

READ MORE: Human traffickers exploit EU migrant crisis to increase child smuggling – EU report

“That’s why the European Union supports tens of millions of immigrants in the coming years which will come onto the European Union labor market to push down wages,” she said. “So, in fact they have betrayed, if you like, the working class.”

Marine Le Pen has been a vocal supporter of the UK leaving the European Union, a move that the National Front hopes would inspire a similar “Frexit” campaign.

According to a March poll, 53 percent of French citizens surveyed would like to hold a Brexit-like referendum on France’s membership in the EU. 

When asked if she feared any consequences for a “Frexit,” or Brussels’ retribution if it should go through, Le Pen said, “If France leaves the European Union, the European Union no longer exists.”

Addressing the EU’s foreign policy towards Russia, Le Pen stressed that her party has consistently opposed economic sanctions and find them “stupid.”

“From the very start when these sanctions were announced, we spoke out against them in the strongest possible terms… We find them to be completely stupid, obviously I can’t but welcome the National Assembly vote that has allowed the expression of refusal of these sanctions,” Le Pen said.

READ MORE: Recognize Crimea as Russian, lift harmful sanctions: Italy’s Veneto passes defiant resolution

She expressed doubts that President Francois Hollande will “have the courage to go against the demands of the European Union” and scrap the sanctions, however.

Le Pen added that France’s recognition of Crimea as part of Russia is “quite clear and even quite credible possibility,” particularly if she wins the 2017 presidential election.

READ MORE: ‘Clinton as president is danger to world peace’ – far-right French leader Le Pen to RT