The Telegraph: Marine Le Pen accuses rivals of promoting 'project fear' as Brexit looms large in presidential debate21 March 2017 | 02:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Brexit was the focal point of one of the most violent clashes in the three-hour debate - the first of three before the first round of voting on April 23 - in which the five main candidates finally started discussing policy in a campaign dogged by sleaze allegations.
In one of a series of heated exchanges, conservative nominee François Fillon accused Ms Le Pen of being a "serial killer" of the French economy in her plan to exit the euro, restore the franc, and to hold a referendum on leaving the EU.
"You are dragging the country towards veritable economic and social chaos, which would lead to the ruin of both borrowers and savers," he said.
Polls suggest that almost three quarters of the French are against Ms Le Pen’s plan to replace the euro with the franc, with many fearing it could spark a bank run if she was elected.
Ms Le Pen, who, according to polls, will reach the final round of the election only to be trounced by independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, hit back: "That's called project fear."
"They used the same argument before the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump," she said.
He predicted that Britain would suffer from leaving the EU.
"We're going to start seeing the results (of their departure). Because it's other Conservatives who are going to have to deal with it, and by the way we're going to have to be incredibly rigorous (in negotiating with Britain about its exit by not giving them any undue concessions)," he said.
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