Le Pen supporters shrug off euro flip-flops, back Frexit idea

By Ingrid Melander
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Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) candidate for 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Villepinte

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) candidate for 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Villepinte, near Paris, France, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

By Ingrid Melander

VILLEPINTE, France (Reuters) - Supporters of far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Monday shrugged off her ditherings over the week-end on the euro, saying they trusted her with taking France out of Europe's single currency and back to the Franc.

Le Pen on Saturday said ditching the euro was not her top economic priority, in a bid to broaden her support amid voters worried over her trademark policy, ahead of the presidential election run-off May 7 vote against centrist front-runner Emmanuel Macron.

However, on Sunday she renewed her attacks against the single currency, which she said was "dead", - renewing a key theme of her campaign which has been marked by her anti-European Union, 'Frexit' stance.

Opinion polls show that while an overwhelming majority of FN voters back a return to the Franc, about three quarters of French voters want to keep the euro, making it a major hurdle to Le Pen's quest for power.

"It's obvious that exiting the euro takes time, it might be a bit slower but she will do it, it's in her programme," Sylvain Laour, a 50 year old security officer, said as Le Pen held her last major rally before Sunday's run-off vote, in the northern Paris suburb of Villepinte.

He had arrived by bus with a group of supporters from the northern France FN stronghold of Henin-Beaumont to hear Le Pen.

Yves and Lydie Carbon, who had travelled from the eastern French region of Aube, said Le Pen's anti-European Union stance was one of the reasons they voted for her.

"I've always been against the EU," said Lydie, who like her husband is a civil servant and wants France to leave the EU.

Both said they were not worried by Le Pen's statement on Saturday with her new ally, rightwinger Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, that leaving the euro was not a pre-condition to economic policies. "It might take some time, she needs to take into account the worries of some voters," Yves Carbon said.

"We need to be master of our destiny, get our borders back. Leaving the euro is part of this package, she will do it," said 58-year-old Jean-Guy Protin, a primary school teacher from Tours.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Additional reporting by Simon Carraud; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Andrew Callus)