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Tuesday 17 October 2017

French far-right candidate Le Pen hardens tone on foreigners

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in full flow at the rally in Paris (AP)
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in full flow at the rally in Paris (AP)

French far right candidate Marine Le Pen has hardened her tone as voting approaches, promising to expel foreign extremists, freeze long-term visas and take back control of France's borders.

Before Sunday's first-round election, Ms Le Pen told RTL radio that she would issue an order to freeze long-term visas for a two-week period so the government can verify, among other things, that the recipients are not taking jobs away from French citizens.

Ms Le Pen, who has campaigned against immigration and Europe's open borders, also wants to impose a 10% tax on labour contracts that go to foreigners and use reservists at the frontiers.

"We cannot fight the terrorism that weighs on our country without controlling our borders," Ms Le Pen said.

Polls show Ms Le Pen is among four leading French candidates, with no clear front-runner.

The top two candidates advance to a May 7 run-off.

The economy is front and centre for the candidates, and centrist Emmanuel Macron again pledged on Tuesday to revisit the famously complex work laws he said are holding back employment.

Press Association

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