Marine Le Pen, a far-right candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections, intends to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union, if elected, in the first half of 2018 after negotiations with other EU states, a campaign manager for the candidate said.
The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for this Sunday, while the run-off is set for May 7.
"Marine Le Pen said that she wanted an exit of the European Union organized with our European partners and that this departure would be sanctioned by a referendum. [Which will be held] undoubtedly in the first half of 2018," David Rachline said.
According to Le Pen's campaign manager, she also wants to "drastically change economic policy, while putting an end to increasing financialization and globalization of the economy."
"We were warned of a catastrophe with the Brexit vote, the facts, however, disagree with those merchants of fear who in reality do not want us to touch this system, which grants them numerous advantages!" Rachline pointed out.
The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election in 2016 were seen as big victories for the anti-establishment and anti-globalist movement. Le Pen's approach seems in sync with the growing anti-globalism trend.
The far-right politician, who has made leaving the Eurozone one of the key points of her program, considers the common currency to be behind a sharp rise in prices, the drop in purchasing power and competitiveness of the country's economy and has criticized Brussels for usurping national states' sovereignty.
According to the Ifop poll published in March, 57 percent of the respondents thought that membership of the European Union was either "good" or "very good" for France, 12 percent thought it was neither good nor bad, while 11 percent thought it "very bad."
The French elections are closely watched by the EU neighbors as polls show Le Pen likely to win the first round of presidential election, set for April 23, or at the very least come in second, although potentially losing in the run-off either to independent candidate Emmanuel Macron or to The Republicans' nominee Francois Fillon.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team