European people are realizing that the EU is an empire that destroys their freedom and doesn't protect them from economic, social or migratory difficulties, the leader of France’s National Front party Marine Le Pen told RT.
Le Pen came third in the 2012 French presidential election with 18% of the vote, higher than expected. She is currently an MEP and believes it’s the best way to fight the system by being at the heart of it.
RT: We're seeing a rise in nationalism, rise in pro-independence movements, those sentiments of wanting more sovereignty for their countries, do you think that this is a temporary trend because analysts are saying that this is just a reaction to political parties that are currently in power and a reaction to bad economy across Europe. So do you think that as a pendulum, it could well move away from groups like the Front National and back to the other side of the political spectrum?
Marine Le Pen: No I don't think so at all. I think that first and foremost, there is a rejection of the European Union and its policies. European people are realizing that the European Union is an empire, a Soviet Union, that in fact is destroying their freedom and doesn't protect them from economic, social or migratory difficulties. And I think that the increase in patriotism, to managing a country’s own affairs, to control of borders, whether it's human, capital, or product flows is irreversible.
I think what we're seeing is the Brussels wall falling down. It's crumbling. That is to say that the European Union and its model has reached an end. It's a destruction that is slow right now, but will probably accelerate. You need to look at what's been happening in Bulgaria, where there has been a revolution and where the government fell, as well as the parliament, within 10 days. You also need to see the results in Italy, where within two years, the eurosceptics have become a majority. And I believe that many other people are in the process of rejecting the policies. Behind these policies is ideology -- there is total free trade, immigration, globalization that is making us open our doors and windows to all the products in the world, to social dumping, to anarchic immigration!
RT: EU authorities have long been criticized for lacking democratic legitimacy…But the next EU Commission President after Jose Manuel Barroso will be elected. Is it a move towards genuine democracy?
MLP: Obviously not, this is all fake. This is to make the people believe that there is more democracy. In fact, we see what's happening at the European Parliament. It's supposed to be democratic, but it's not at all representative of what the people of the European Union think. The Socialist party as well as the European right walk hand in hand. They vote in favour of 97% of EU directives. And today, there is a very strong proportion of people who reject this model. And these people are not represented by the European Parliament. So I think that electing the successor of Jose Manuel Barroso is a smokescreen. It's to make people believe that there will be an increase in democracy but in fact, the model, the economic model they choose is killing democracy.
RT: Let’s talk about Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan president. He was also against neo-liberalism, he was nationalistic, he wanted more sovereignty for his own country, and he was a socialist. Does any of his political stance resonate with you?
MLP: Well listen, Hugo Chavez was a paradox. He was a socialist and even a communist, but this is maybe the communism we knew in France 40 years ago. He was a communist, but he was a patriotic communist. Many of Chavez’s policies were open to criticism, but there are many things that you can’t criticize. Such as the fact that he shared resources with his people, which is very rare. We see it in Africa, there are many countries that have resources that people don't get a share of. So he took advantage of it to bring down poverty rates. He tried to create a state able to nationalize big companies so that they don't fall into the hands of multinationals. He has been opposing the USA which I believe is something positive, in order to gain autonomy and so that Venezuela would get back its freedom. So I think in the end his results are average, but it would be wrong to reject all the things that he has done.
RT: Rate Francois Hollande on a scale of 1 to 10.
MLP: I can't rate him because in order for me to rate him, he has to be a political leader. He's not a political leader, he's just a technical leader like Mr Monti of Italy. It means that in fact he's not managing the country, he's not making decisions, he's just following the instructions from the European Union. He's just putting in place austerity which is complete stupidity because austerity destroys the economy and increases unemployment, forces factories to move elsewhere and leads to the destruction of industries. The worst thing that is happening now is the free trade agreement that is being negotiated with the United States. It will put an end to French agriculture. This is not 'his' mistake because he's not deciding anything. He's just serving globalization and applying decisions taken in Brussels.
RT: You don't change your mind about leaving the
MLP: No. Each day that goes by, I believe more in this idea. I even asked the French President to organize a big referendum in January 2014 to ask the question to the French people: do they want to stay in the European Union? Do they want to stay with open borders? Do they want to take the risk of having Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen, with the arrival of millions of Roma who are attracted by a social system that is very advantageous, which is the French system. Do they want to go on with free trade? Do they want to forbid economic patriotism? Do they want European laws to be stronger than national laws? And I want to salute Hungary who decided to change the constitution so that it prioritizes national rights over European rights. It gives a new freshness to democracy because again, the people, the sovereign people are now the ones deciding, not the Brussels technocrats.
RT: If you are so against the EU, why are you a MEP and receive aid from the EU?
MLP: This is our money, it's our money! I want to say that this is the least of all things. Madame, I participate as an MEP because someone needs to tell the people, the French people what is happening here. Someone has to fight. We are fighting the system by being at the heart of the system. If I was trying to fight it from outside, I would have less power. When it comes to money that is granted from the European Union, I want to remind them that it's not "their" money. They don't create that money, they don't fabricate that money. This is our money. We give 20 billion euros to the European Union every year, and they implement measures that are destroying our economy and our social system, so it is perfectly legitimate that there is a part of this money that comes back -- depending on the proportion of the electorate that we represent -- to this European party, the European Alliance for Freedom, which is made up of parties of patriots across Europe.
RT: You were recently called fascist during a meeting with students at the Cambridge University. What do you make of this incident?
MLP: But Madame, there are 17,000 students in Cambridge. There were 100 protesters, I'll let you calculate the percentage. If the opposition is restricted to this, it's rather positive. I mean, I'm not going to stop bringing the truth because a few leftists are trying to stop me from doing that. In fact, they pretend to be eurosceptic, those leftists, but they participate in the system, they implement the system! They themselves are in favor of immigration when they know that immigration is used to lower salaries. They are themselves defenders of Europe. Oh they always explain that they want a "different Europe", but it is still the European Union with open borders, so one cannot sincerely be the defender of a nation while at the same time be for totally free trade and totally free immigration.
RT: Do immigrants compete with qualified French?
MLP: The labour market, as the name implies, is a market. So it works with demand and supply. When there are officially 5 million unemployed people in France and you legally let in 200,000 people in France per year, it creates more competition. When you have 10 people competing for one job, then you have lower wages. When you have 10 jobs for 1 person, then it increases wages. So immigration is used to lower salaries. And there is a problem, all those people, when they arrive, how will they live? They live thanks to our solidarity. They live thanks to a system of social protection that is reaching its end. We cannot take care of all those people. We cannot educate their children freely. We cannot bring them healthcare freely. We cannot provide them with housing freely. We reached a limit, an economic and psychological limit. We already went beyond it.
RT: Is it just an economic problem?
MLP: No, obviously not. It's not only an economic problem. This is a problem of national unity. Again, we let people in, a huge number of people, I'm talking here of legal immigrants, but there are also the illegal immigrants. So when you have 300,000 or 400,000 people, with a different culture, with a different religion and with different customs, this shakes the French people who feel compelled to adapt themselves; their lifestyles, to a culture that is different from them. Let me give you one example: for a few years now in airlines, in school canteens, in public administration, in food aid, there is no pork anymore. That's it. Why? To answer the demands of extremists, Muslim extremists, who rely on massive immigration to support their claim. And we live in France, but we need to live with rules of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And for me, that's a huge problem.
RT: You were against Libya and Syria intervention, why did you think Mali intervention was legitimate?
MLP: Because my stance is coherent, if you want. Either you fight against Islamic fundamentalism, in which case it makes sense to fight in Mali, but it's not normal to support the same terrorists in Libya and in Syria. We are now in a situation where our leaders are completely, in my opinion, insane! They fight on the side of terrorists in Libya and Syria and against the same terrorists in Mali, this is not coherent. Me, I'm coherent. That is to say, I think we should not have supported and given weapons and assisted the jihadists in Libya who right away imposed Shariah law after they came to power. We should not do that in Syria. We should stop this questionable relationship with Qatar who provides funding to terrorism and fundamentalism throughout the world and indeed it is legitimate to fight this extremism in Mali.