**Marine Le Pen says France should seek to renegotiate EU membership
Front National chief Marine Le Pen has said she would not wish to see France leave the European Union straight away if she came to power but instead would seek to negotiate with the bloc in a bid to reinstate French sovereignty.
The far-right leader also called for Europe to retain the euro, championing the need for the single currency even if France withdraws from the eurozone, in a marked softening of her infamously anti-EU stance.
In an interview with BFMTV, Ms Le Pen outlined her vision should she be elected leader of the Republic in the presidential elections in May.
Interviewer Jean-Jacques Bourdin asked Ms Le Pen outright: “Do you wish for France to leave the European Union? So that things are clear, I’m asking you directly - yes or no?”
Ms Le Pen replied: “No, I think we need to renegotiate with the EU because I want to see French sovereignty restored in France, supported by a referendum.”…
Many believe any shift in attitude comes from a desire to bolster the party’s popularity and broaden its appeal, with polls citing a total withdrawal from the eurozone as an unpopular option for many voters.
Dr Joseph Downing, fellow at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), believes any softening could potentially jeopardise her popularity as an “anti-establishment” candidate…
Ms Le Pen also stated a national currency and a common currency could potentially exist concurrently, hinting at a possible return to the European Currency Unit (ECU), a basket of European currencies that existed as a precursor to the euro.
“A national currency, with the Euro as a common currency - that wouldn’t bother me,” she said.