Friday 24 November 2017

Le Pen's campaign based on politics of hate, says Macron

Marine Le Pen meets a worker at a food market in Paris yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Marine Le Pen meets a worker at a food market in Paris yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Alice Smith Paris

French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron has accused far-right rival Marine Le Pen of basing her campaign on "hatred for others" in contrast to his desire to "calm" the country.

Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen, who took the first two spots in Sunday's election first round, are facing off in the May 7 run-off.

Mr Macron said there were now "two clear offers that come face to face".

He said that Ms Le Pen and her anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front party are campaigning on a platform of "closing borders, weakening popular and middle classes and our economy".

On the other side, Mr Macron, a pro-business candidate, said he belongs to the "progressive camp" with a project "to make France succeed... in a stronger Europe".

Mr Macron accused the political establishment of "feeding" the National Front for years and waking up today with a "hangover" with Ms Le Pen advancing to the run-off.

"We have collectively made the National Front normal," he lamented.

Earlier, researchers said Mr Macron's campaign had been targeted by Russia-linked hackers.

Staff with the Japanese anti-virus firm Trend Micro said the centrist politician was being singled out for electronic eavesdropping by the Kremlin.

The campaign's digital chief, Mounir Mahjoubi, confirmed the attempted intrusions but said they had all been thwarted.

"It's serious, but nothing was compromised," he said.

Trend Micro said it discovered the campaign by monitoring the creation of rogue, lookalike websites often used by hackers to trick victims into giving up their passwords.

Irish Independent

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