Monday, June 9, 2014

Interview with Marine Le Pen: “I Don’t Want This European Soviet Union”

Interview with Marine Le Pen: “I Don’t Want This European Soviet Union”
SPIEGEL: Ms. Le Pen, having won 25 percent of the French vote, your Front National party stands as one of the primary beneficiaries of the May 25 European Parliament election. How could such a thing come to pass?
Le Pen: The French want to regain control of their own country. They want to determine the course of their own economy and their immigration policies. They want their own laws to take precedence over those of the European Union. The French have understood that the EU does not live up to the utopia they were sold. It has distanced itself significantly from a democratic mode of operation.
SPIEGEL: Yet, prior to the election, it was said that the establishment of lead candidates for the two biggest groups — Jean-Claude Juncker for the center-right and Martin Schulz for the center-left — would strengthen democracy in the EU.
Le Pen: That is totally bogus. Everybody knew that the parliament wouldn’t be making the final decision on the next president of the European Commission.
SPIEGEL: Do you want to destroy Europe?
Le Pen: I want to destroy the EU, not Europe! I believe in a Europe of nation-states. I believe in Airbus and Ariane, in a Europe based on cooperation. But I don’t want this European Soviet Union.
SPIEGEL: The EU is a vast project for peace. It has helped ensure 70 years without war on the Continent.
Le Pen: No. Europe is war. Economic war. It is the increase of hostilities between the countries. Germans are denigrated as being cruel, the Greeks as fraudsters, the French as lazy. Ms. Merkel can’t travel to any European country without being protected by hundreds of police. That is not brotherhood.
SPIEGEL: You now intend to head to Brussels only to fight the system.
Le Pen: And why not? The EU is deeply harmful, it is an anti-democratic monster. I want to prevent it from becoming fatter, from continuing to breathe, from grabbing everything with its paws and from extending its tentacles into all areas of our legislation. In our glorious history, millions have died to ensure that our country remains free. Today, we are simply allowing our right to self-determination to be stolen from us.
SPIEGEL: In truth, though, you didn’t win the elections because of the EU, but because the French are furious with their economic situation and with President François Hollande. Have you thanked him?
Le Pen: No. Then I would have had to call Nicolas Sarkozy as well. France is in this situation because the conservative Union for a Popular Movement (Sarkozy’s party) and the Socialists (Hollande’s party) submitted to European treaties. These treaties promote German interests quite well, but they are poor at defending France’s interests.
SPIEGEL: Germany is to be blamed for France’s misery?
Le Pen: Whenever I hear people utter anti-German sentiments, I say: You can’t blame Germany for defending its own interests. I can’t blame Ms. Merkel for saying she wants a strong euro. I place the blame with our own leaders who are not defending our interests. A strong euro is ruining our economy.
SPIEGEL: Why would you say that the euro is only helping Germany?
Le Pen: For a very simple reason: It was created by Germany, for Germany.
SPIEGEL: It was François Mitterand who wanted the euro in order to contain Germany. In fact, it was difficult for the Germans to give up their beloved deutsche mark.
Le Pen: That’s another story. Mitterand wanted to push integration forward with the euro. But from an economic standpoint, the euro is German. Were we to return to our national currencies, the D-Mark would be the only one to appreciate in value, which would be a competitive disadvantage for Germany. Our currency, by contrast, would be devalued, which would give us a bit of room to breathe.

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