Published: Mon, May 08, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Le Pen Accused of Plagiarism for Lifting Parts of Fillon Speech

The bitterly contested election has polarized France, exposing some of the same sense of anger with globalization and political elites that brought Donald Trump to presidential power in the United States, and caused Britons to vote for a divorce from the EU.

Campaigners took to the streets for the traditional France May Day marches yesterday to protest against the Front National.

One officer was engulfed in flames, an AFP photographer saw, and unconfirmed reports said he had suffered serious burns. She promises to restore French glory, pull France out of the European Union and return to the franc currency.

Le Pen described France's borders and ties with "Italy, our sister" - a phrase also used by Fillon.

Despite their differences Le Pen's father, former presidential candidate Jean Marie Le Pen, endorsed his daughter at the foot of the Joan of Arc statue in Paris.

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Masked youths threw molotov cocktails.

French media including Le Monde today accused Ms Le Pen of plagiarism, highlighting the similar florid language used by both candidates. "The Republican front does not work like it did fifteen years ago", he said.

Liberation said it would publish a 16-page anti National Front (FN) special edition on Tuesday.

Two unions, the CFDT and Unsa, have called for their members to back Macron.

Fillon has lost the first round of the presidential elections; the second round is on 7 May between Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. "I think this little wink was appreciated, including by supporters of Mr Fillon".

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According to the French Interior Minister, Matthias Fekl, six riot police were injured.

Le Pen says large companies that operate internationally would be allowed to continue using the euro, while ordinary citizens would use a new franc. Numerous protesters who took to the streets Monday were reportedly there to show their distaste for both far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking at a convention centre in northern Paris, Macron, however, said Le Pen "had fed off worry and hate for years".

"He wants to dynamise the economy, but he is among those who dynamited it", the elderly Mr Le Pen said, referring to France's stagnant economy and its unemployment rate of around 10 per cent. Mr Macron once served as Mr Hollande's economy minister.

Florian Philippot, deputy leader of Le Pen's National Front party, told Radio Classique that the speech was a "nod and a wink" to Fillion's earlier address, created to "launch a real debate" about French identity.

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