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France’s National Front Considers Relaunch Under New Name

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

France’s populist National Front party is meeting for a two-day conference to rebrand the party and discuss a different stance on pulling the country out of the eurozone.

Leader Marine Le Pen suffered a crushing defeat against Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election in May, despite dominating the campaign. The party was handed another major blow in June when it failed to reach its aim of winning 15 seats in parliament.

Le Pen said the meeting is meant “to be the basis of a re-founding of the National Front.” The party will discuss changing its anti-euro stance, which Le Pen believes was one of the major factors behind her election loss.

“I think that on this monetary issue we could in fact reverse our stance,” FN secretary general Nicolas Bay said, according to The Local. “I think we need to listen to what the French people said. We did not convince people with this idea.”

The party could further change its name by the end of the weekend. Deputy leader Florian Philippot argues the name “scares people” and keeps the party associated with racism. Another issue of concern is whether to strip Le Pen’s father and FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen of his title as an honorary president. Jean-Marie Le Pen lost the title in 2015 after the party’s executive board voted to oust him, but he later won a court appeal to regain it.

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