May 1, 2017 / 7:40 PM / 5 months ago

EU would not survive Le Pen presidency, French PM says in newspaper column

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (C), Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas (R) and Interior Minister Matthias Fekl speak at the end of a defence council at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - The European Union would not survive the effects of a victory for anti-EU, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, Socialist French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a newspaper column.

“The European Union, weakened by Brexit, would not be able to withstand the new shock that would be constituted by the arrival in power in France of a government that is openly europhobic,” Cazeneuve said in a column to be published on Tuesday in left-wing newspaper Liberation.

Cazeneuve also reiterated his call to vote for centrist, front-runner Emmanuel Macron in the decisive, May 7 run-off vote against Le Pen.

President Francois Hollande, the first sitting French president since the war not to stand for re-election, made a similar call after Macron and Le Pen knocked out the official Socialist candidate in the first round.

Liberation said it would publish a 16-page anti National Front (FN) special edition on Tuesday.

And in Les Echos business newspaper, the heads of various leading French companies have written to warn of the economic dangers represented by Le Pen’s anti-EU programme.

Le Pen on Saturday said that ditching the euro was not her top economic priority, in a bid to broaden her support amid voters worried over her trademark policy, ahead of the May 7 vote.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Callus

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