Deadly Ebola virus could solve immigration crisis – Le Pen
The deadly Ebola virus could solve France's immigration problems "in three months", Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder and honorary president of France's far-Right Front National, has said in remarks that have shocked the country's political establishment.
Speaking on Tuesday night in Marseille shortly before a joint rally with Marine Le Pen, his daughter and current party leader, Mr Le Pen (85) said: "There is a demographic explosion in the world and a risk of submersion. A replacement of (the national population) is under way."
However, he added: "Monsieur Ebola can solve the problem in three months."
Ebola is one of the most feared infectious diseases in the world and there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the viral haemorrhagic fever.
Mr Le Pen went on to tell a crowd of 1,500 in the Parc Carnot that the immigration situation was "made worse" in France by the fact that most immigrants were Muslim, "a religion whose aim is to conquer", he claimed.
The Ebola outburst sparked outrage in France, where Stephane Le Foll, spokesman for the Socialist government, called them "unacceptable". "For those who often make out that the Front National has changed, here is the proof once again that they have not changed," he said.
Ms Le Pen has been at great pains to "detoxify" her party and shed its traditional reputation for racism and xenophobia.
Back-pedalling later, Mr Le Pen said he was merely making an "observation" about potential disasters that "could modify this demographic trend".
"In no way do I wish to spread the Ebola virus," he said.
His incendiary remarks will not help his daughter in her drive to come first in Sunday's European elections in France, in which the FN is polled neck and neck with the centre-Right UMP party and well ahead of the ruling Socialists. (© Daily Telegraph, London)