France's far-right party now 'adult' and needs name change: Le Pen

France's far-right party now 'adult' and needs name change: Le Pen

France's far-right party now 'adult' and needs name change: Le Pen

President Donald Trump's estranged adviser Steve Bannon told a far-right gathering in France on Saturday that they should handle accusations of racism with pride. "The people are waking up and taking their destiny in hand", he wrote.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Bannon was a close ally and confidante of Trump, and he joined the West Wing staff as Trump's chief strategist. He was ousted from the White House previous year amid tensions and stepped down as chairman of Breitbart News Network in January after a public break with Trump.

His appearance Saturday comes as Marine Le Pen aims to revive the National Front nine months after she was defeated by Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election.

To that end, rebranding the National Front's image is the primary goal of the "party congress" in Lille this weekend. The 89-year-old was expelled from the party in 2015 for repeatedly downplaying the Holocaust, however a court overruled his expulsion.

"You recall the evening of the American election, the traditional medias were shocked".

The congress would mark a significant break with Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front in 1972 and has called a name change a "betrayal".

"The National Front has changed in nature".

He praised Le Pen's vision of a political spectrum that no longer spans left-right but puts nationalists versus globalists.

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"You fight for your country and they call you racist".

Ten months ago, the party was on a high after Le Pen saw off the Socialist candidate to take the FN into the second round of the presidential election with unprecedented support, though not enough to defeat Macron.

On some level, the speech presented another development in the transatlantic relationship between far-right movements in the United States and Europe, particularly in France.

In the presidential election, it appeared this strategy paid off, as Le Pen gained more than 10 million votes (33.9 per cent) in the final round, despite her weird and catastrophic performance in a debate with Macron, which cost her support.

Macron won with 66% of the vote vs. 34% for Le Pen, who had threatened to curb immigration and pull France out of the European Union, among other measures. "Because everyday we get stronger and they get weaker". "Let them call you racists".

"Since last Sunday, there really is the impression that the victory of the League gave new confidence, new hope to Marine Le Pen and other leaders who see a favorable historic tendency", Camus said, citing Britain's Brexit vote and Donald Trump's presidential victory in the U.S. as similar guideposts.

"Right or left doesn't mean anything and doesn't reflect the real division in France today which is between those who feel the nation is an obstacle and those who feel the nation is a jewel to be defended", she said.

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