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In France, Far-Right Le Pen Bets on 'Economic Patriotism'
CNBC.com | April 11, 2012 | 10:28 AM EDT

As Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande race for victory in the French presidential elections, the leader of the country's far right National Front - currently forecast to come third in the race - has a tough fight on her hands.

Under the banner of "economic patriotism", Marine Le Pen has moved her party away from its anti-immigration stance to focus on the economy, and in particular on unemploymentand the European Union.

Economic patriotism, she said at a press conference on Tuesday, “is the only way to revive employment without the inhumane austerity measures” that other European countries have had to face.

Unlike her more established opponents, Le Pen rejects what she calls a "poisonous ultra-liberal potion”, referring to free trade and free movement across the EU's borders.

Le Pen argues she is only candidate to promote both "made in France" and "buy French" protectionism and has campaigned against EU free trade. She has called for a 3 percent tax on all imports in order, she says, to end the disparity between how France treats other economies and how it is treated in return.

Besides blaming ultra-liberal policies, Le Pen largely blames the European Union and the euro zone for the current sovereign debt crisis.

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