Marine Le Pen blasts ’two totalitarianisms’ threatening France

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen blasted globalisation and Islamic fundamentalism in her closing speech at a two-day National Front party conference.

She called them "two totalitarianisms" threatening France.

To applause and cries of "On est chez nous" (We are in our land), Le Pen served up the grand themes of the party that have made her a leader in early polls of the spring presidential election.

"We are at a crossroad. This election is a choice of civilisation," she said, asking whether her three children and other young citizens would have the rights and culture of the current generation.

"Will they even speak our French language?"

Le Pen on Saturday unveiled her 144 "commitments," a nationalist agenda that envisions a France unshackled from the European Union and Nato, and that ensures work, healthcare and other services for its own citizens amid drastically reduced immigration.

She said she is defending both France’s material and immaterial patrimony, "which has no price" and is "irreplaceable".

Running on a campaign slogan of In The Name Of The People, Le Pen called for French "patriots" on the left and right to join with her.

In politics, "the division is no longer right-left (but) patriot-globalist," she said. "You have your place at our side."

The National Front has taken heart in the disarray of the left with the unpopularity of Socialist President Francois Hollande, who decided not to seek a new mandate.

The right’s leading candidate, Francois Fillon, has been caught up in a corruption scandal, opening the way for maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron, who could face off Le Pen.

Le Pen has been a leader in early polls, which put her at the top in the April 23 first-round vote but not winning the May 7 run-off.

If elected, she envisions a "government of national unity" formed after June legislative elections.

Le Pen told the crowd at the congress centre in the south-eastern city of Lyon that globalisation is "erasing" France and Islamic fundamentalism is "planting itself in some neighbourhoods and vulnerable minds".

Le Pen listed Muslim veils, mosques or prayer in the streets of France as unacceptable cultural dangers that "no French person attached to his dignity can accept".

"When you arrive in a country, you don’t start violating laws, demanding rights," she said, in reference to what she calls "massive immigration".

"There will be no other laws and values in France but French."

Among her 144 commitments is to limit immigration to 10,000 and restrain family reunification policies that have allowed many immigrants, mainly from former French colonies in north Africa, to bring in relatives.

She said she would arrange for foreigners convicted of crimes to serve their prison terms in their homelands.

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the election of US President Donald Trump have boosted Le Pen followers, with many applauding in private Trump’s election.

She said this revealed the "awakening of the people against oligarchies".

She praised Trump as a man who respects campaign promises and "acts quickly".

- PA

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