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French presidential candidate Le Pen set to meet Hungarian leader in Budapest

By Paul Myers - RFI
Europe French presidential candidate Le Pen set to meet Hungarian leader in Budapest
OCT 25, 2021 LISTEN

French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen is set to hold talks on Tuesday with the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban.

The National Rally leader's session with Orban comes three days after she met the Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Brussels.

In July, Le Pen and Orban were among 16 politicians who announced an alliance of far-right representatives in the European Parliament.

The group which includes Matteo Salvini of the Italian League, Jaroslav Kaczynski of Poland's Justice and Law party and Santiago Abascal of the Spanish group Vox, hit out at the EU for its federalist ambitions.

It wants to ensure that courts in member states have the power to ignore or alter the rulings of the Luxembourg-based European Court which has criticised laws in Poland and Hungary as being contrary to the EU's founding principles.

Rulings
Earlier this month, Poland's constitutional tribunal ruled that parts of EU law are not in line with the Polish constitution.

Brussels has reacted to the Polish decision by refusing to give the green light to Warsaw's application for 36 billion euros in Covid-19 recovery funds.

The European Commission is also under increasing pressure to use powers that would permit it to stop the flow of more than 120 billion euros of regional development funds in Poland over the next six years.

Orban too has defied the European Union with his positions on immigration and LGBT+ people.

Association
By associating with such firebrands, political analysts in France say Le Pen can beef up her credentials as a radical in her domestic fight with  Éric Zemmour who met Orban last month.

"She needs to boost her image," political historian Nicolas Lebourg told AFP.

"She needs to tell an electorate increasingly tempted by Zemmour that as far as authoritarianism is concerned, she also has a few things to say."

Le Pen announced her second attempt to become France's first female president in September in the southern city of Fréjus.

"There are battles that we don't have the right to lose,” the 52-year-old told nearly 1,000 of the party faithful. “The presidential election of 2022 is one of them. And because we do not have the right to lose it, we will win it.”

Zemmour has yet to formally declare his candidature to supplant Emmanuel Macron next April.

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