French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

"He has the experience, the desire and the project that will allow France to ensure an alternative to the last five disastrous years that we have experienced, (under Socialist president Francois Hollande)" Mr. Sarkozy said in a video message posted on Facebook - a rare foray into the campaign by him.

Le Pen's deputy Florian Philippot fired back: "You'll see, we'll soon be sticking your oligarchic rag in the cupboard". Should one of the 11 candidates in the electoral race receive a majority of more than 50 percent during this round, he/she will be declared the outright victor.

"The attack made up my mind", said Andre, 48, a resident of the Riviera city of Nice who plans to vote for Le Pen after the Islamist carnage in his city last July that killed 86 people.

"The silence of the other candidates comes from shame, the shame of being a member or even having led a government which did nothing to lower the threat and even created the conditions for this scourge to develop", she told the rally, which was held under tight security.

The French elections are one of the most potentially destabilizing events for the markets this year.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says the French state and the Muslim community are fighting on a "common front" against Islamic extremism. Added to this, Macron's supporters tend to waver the most.

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A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates, Benoit Hamon, left, Emmanuel Macron, center, and Marine Le Pen in Paris, France, Monday, April 17, 2017. She has heaped praise on the UK's Brexit decision and wants France to follow suit. An exit from the European Union could also be on the horizon under a Mélenchon government, as he would put the country's membership to a referendum.

Macron would win a head-to-head contest against National Front chief Le Pen, the poll showed.

Le Pen has proposed expelling any foreigner convicted of a crime or suspected of being radicalized. While many do not predict Le Pen to become president, such a black swan event would have a big negative impact on the euro as it would create great uncertainty in the markets because Le Pen is anti-euro and plans to take France out of the euro and potentially out of the European Union by holding a referendum.

Is the market too optimistic on Le Pen's chances? . Mélenchon wants to withdraw France from several of the trade agreements in place and negotiate a "democratic reconstruction" of European treaties in a bid to counter the EU's "economic liberalism". In lieu of openness, Le Pen - who now casts herself as a Gaullist - wants to deepen "great power" relations with Russian Federation and the United States, as she focuses on defending "traditional" Christian values and fighting terror in the context of a multipolar world order. At present, the country's biggest lenders still have a high proportion of bad loans on their books, while through the quantitative-easing process the European Central Bank (ECB) has effectively allowed them to access cheap funding.

A Le Pen victory could see the euro tumble to test parity with the dollar. Given the funding gaps they now have on their loan books, a Le Pen government would seriously threaten their resilience.

Compared to Le Pen and her team, Europe's leaders seem woefully underprepared.

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