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Le Pen wants return to ECU-style currency

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 01:45

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has said euro zone countries should retreat from the euro single currency and return to a ''common currency'' structure, evoking the era of the ECU basket of currencies. As Ivor Bennett reports, the idea conjures up mixed emotions.

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She may've entered from stage left, but everything else about Marine Le Pen is firmly on the right. France's National Front leader declaring herself ready to be the country's next President. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FAR-RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT PARTY LEADER AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, MARINE LE PEN, SAYING: "Faced with the disorder, we have an organised campaign. A campaign in order, to put France back in order." Events of the last two years have made her call for order a popular rallying cry. This week marks the second anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. But today, the disorder she focused on was the economy. As well as taking France out of the euro, Le Pen wants to bring back a common currency structure - similar to the euro's predecessor - the ECU. It was effectively a basket of currencies that was supposed to limit fluctuations. But it didn't always work that way. On September 16th 1992, then British chancellor Norman Lamont withdrew the pound from the mechanism, after failing to stop it sliding through the floor. SOUNDBITE (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, LCG, SAYING: "A bit like Donald Trump, I think Marine Le Pen's economic policies are a bit misunderstood. There's a lot of focus on what should we do in terms of the euro, in a referendum on the euro zone membership, a lot of focus on general populism. But not enough understanding on the economics." Trying to show that's not the case, her team have fleshed out the idea. Explaining that the rate would be fixed with rare adjustments. As for Le Pen, there's no doubting she understands politics. And that could be all that matters.

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Le Pen wants return to ECU-style currency

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 01:45