Bannon to speak at National Front convention in France

Marsha Scott
March 11, 2018

"Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal".

But in general, the meeting between Bannon and the party of Marine Le Pen came a particularly fraught moment for them both, with one and the other trying to remain relevant in an unforgiving political environment.

She has long sought to "de-demonize" the party by moving away from its racist past, but Le Pen's own father complained that Bannon was the "most radical" of Trump's advisers, saying Saturday's invitation "is not exactly the definition of 'de-demonization'".

Bannon's appearance in France was part of a European tour as he seeks an global platform for his closed-borders, anti-foreigner message that helped Donald Trump win the United States presidency.

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former strategist and architect of the USA president's nationalist campaign platform, is expected to attend a meeting of France's far-right National Front party.

The anti-immigration stance of Trump's campaign and presidency were attributed to Bannon before he left the White House and echo ideas that Le Pen has long championed.

In a surprise appearance on Saturday, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon addressed France's far-right National Front, telling a gathering of the party that they are "part of a worldwide movement that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary - bigger than all of it".

France US Far Right

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is set to propose a name change for the National Front, part of a makeover created to make the anti-immigration party relevant again after she was defeated by Emmanuel Macron in the presidential race.

The name is expected to be unveiled only on Sunday, shortly before the party delegates vote on it.

Speaking today at the conference, leader of the FN, Marine Le Pen, said: "Our individual and collective commitments go towards a cause that is greater than us". The showing of the League, a National Front ally, "is a new step in the awakening of the people", Le Pen tweeted.

Bannon has already spoken in Zurich, Switzerland at an event organized by a conservative publication, and on Saturday headlined the annual conference for France's National Front. The outcome has boosted far-right movements across Europe and was seen as a victory for the forces that elected Trump and voter approval for Britain to leave the European Union.

The weekend congress is expected to erase one persistent problem for Le Pen - her unpredictable, bombastic father - by eliminating his title of honorary president-for-life from party statutes.

Bannon met Marion, who temporarily withdrew from politics after her aunt's presidential election defeat last May, at the CPAC conservative conference in Maryland last month, where he said she was "absolutely electrifying".

"She is not simply a rising star on the right in France".

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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