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Macron zeroes in on Le Pen’s Putin ties as she gains on him in ...

World

Macron zeroes in on Le Pen’s Putin ties as she gains on him in poll

French president and his allies are dialling up the rhetoric to try to stop the populist from winning

James Regan

French President Emmanuel Macron’s team painted Marine Le Pen as “an ally of Vladimir Putin” on Monday as they began a campaign offensive that will run over the next two weeks ahead of a final vote. 

Le Pen finished four percentage points behind Macron in the first round of the French election on Sunday and the two will face each other in a runoff vote on April 24. While polls give 44-year-old president a narrow advantage heading into the final phase of the campaign, Le Pen has been gaining momentum and she’s already added more than 10 points to her showing in the 2017 election. A poll released on Monday showed Macron with a nine-point advantage.

“Another battle is commencing with two visions of France,” finance minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview on Monday. He said a Le Pen victory would see France turn its back on its EU partners and leave working people poorer...

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