EU must reform or face ‘Frexit’ – Macron

The front-runner in the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron, has told reporters that the EU must reform or face the prospect of “Frexit”.

The Pro-EU centrist  made the comments as he and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen entered the last week of campaigning.

French voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide between the pair.

Ms Le Pen has capitalised on anti-EU feeling, and has promised a referendum on France’s membership.

She won support in rural and former industrial areas by promising to retake control of France’s borders from the EU and slash immigration.

“I’m a pro-European, I defended constantly during this election the European idea and European policies because I believe it’s extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalisation,” Mr. Macron, leader of the recently created En Marche! movement, told reporters.

“But at the same time we have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable.

“So I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project.”

Mr. Macron added that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was would be a “betrayal”.

“And I don’t want to do so,” he said. “Because the day after, we will have a Frexit or we will have [Ms Le Pen’s] National Front (FN) again.”

Both Mr. Macron – who is leading in the polls by 20 percentage points – and Ms Le Pen spent Sunday campaigning around France.

 

Zainab Sa’id