Posted on July 10, 2018

Marine Le Pen: French Fine Means ‘Death’ of Far-Right Party

Gabriela Galindo, Politico, July 9, 2018


The far-right National Rally (formerly known as the National Front) has been denied an advance on half of its public funding as a result of a June 28 ruling by the country’s financial prosecutor, according to AFP. The decision comes amid an ongoing investigation into allegations that the party misused around €7 million in European Parliament funds set aside to pay parliamentary assistants between 2009 and 2017.

Speaking to BFTMV, Le Pen claimed the financial prosecutor’s decision “did not respect any legal criteria” and said the decision would mean the “death” of the National Rally — which has run into trouble getting loans from banks for its campaigns and is largely reliant on government funding — by the end of August.

“Two judges have decided — in violation to the principle of presumption of innocence, and without a a court’s ruling — to assassinate the leading opposition party in France,” Le Pen said. The decision represents a “coup d’état” and “a veritable attack on democracy,” she added.

The European Court of Justice last month ordered Le Pen’s party to pay back nearly €300,000 in funds that it said were used to pay parliamentary assistants to carry out nonparliamentary work. A group of 35 MEPs — including members of Le Pen’s party — were also ordered to repay €500,000 allegedly spent on fancy dinners and Christmas gifts.


“This affair poses a major constitutional problem regarding the functioning of political parties and the treatment of the main opposition party,” the far-right leader said.