French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen says France should withdraw from eurozone, proposing to replace the euroa by returning to the era of the European Currency Unit (ECU), a basket of European currencies used as a unit of account by EU members.
Le Pen, the National Front leader who has long called for Frexit, France’s withdrawal from the European Union, said in an interview on Wednesday that a new national currency could help recover sovereignty.
“The ECU existed alongside a national currency,” Le Pen said, adding, “A national currency co-existing with a common currency would not have any consequences for French daily life.”
Le Pen, who is a candidate in the French presidential election in May, had previously said that she wanted legislative, territorial, economic and monetary sovereignty all returned to France.
She also said on Wednesday that she intended to hold negotiations with other EU countries on leaving the bloc to seek allies in the move.
France adopted the euro in 1999, after ditching the franc along with other European countries who abandoned their national currencies.
Le Pen has said that if elected, she would put France’s EU membership to a referendum in May.
The remarks by the French presidential candidate come as Europe is gripped by the shockwaves unleashed with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
In a referendum held on June 23, 2016, the British people voted to leave the EU. The referendum turnout was 71.8 percent, with more than 30 million people voting.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she intends to trigger the process of splitting from the EU by the end of March this year.
Experts warn that Britain’s exit from the European Union will have dire economic consequences for the UK. The same repercussions could also await other European countries if they left the union.
Surveys show that the French want to remain members of the EU.