Protests have taken place in France against the victory of the Front National in the European elections last weekend.

Police estimates have put the number of demonstraters at a mere 4,200 people in Paris, a small fraction of the 1.3 million people who took to the streets against the party in 2002 following a strong performance in the presidential elections that year.

One protester said “it’s important to get the message across to everybody that it’s okay to vote against the system but you must do it intelligently. People must not forget that behind their euroscepticism there’s a xenophobic side to them, made up of fear and rejection of difference. That’s completely absurd in French society.”

Since taking over at the helm from her father, Marine Le Pen has transformed the image of party once tainted by its association with anti-Semitism. She has marginalised veteran members of the Front National and has punished racism. Despite still maintaining an anti-immigration platform, Le Pen has focused her debate on the problems of the European Union.

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