French trade unions clash ahead of presidential polls

French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron has taunted far-right leader Marine Le pen by paying tribute to a Moroccan man drowned by skinheads after a National Front rally in 1995. he

"Afterwards there will be a referendum so that the French people can have their say on the agreement that is struck", he said. That same phrase of France's "three maritime borders" with the English Channel, North Sea and the Atlantic was also used by Mr Fillon.

Poland's Foreign Ministry is denouncing French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's comparison of Poland's government to the "regimes" of Russia's Vladimir Putin and Hungary's Viktor Orban.

Le Pen's camp has said the use of similar sections in the speech were "a nod" to Fillon, the centre-right candidate who fell in the first round of the presidential election.

She also claimed that his pro-business policies would not create jobs but send them overseas and leave French workers hungry.

The rivals for the presidency, centrist frontrunner Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen, faced shows of opposition to their programmes during the fractious May 1 workers' marches.

The subject is at the heart of her campaign. Varoufakis wrote, referring to Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was kicked out of the Front National Party by Marine for his anti-Semitic statements.

Le Pen has promised to curb immigration to France, if she is elected. "Go and convince (others), make her lose next Sunday".

However aides of Ms Le Pen attempted to brush off the criticism.

Macron, a former economy minister, is campaigning on strong pro-European, pro-free market, liberal views.

On that occasion, the country banded together to vote for Jacques Chirac and ensure that the far-right candidate was crushed.

Six riot police were injured following clashes with around 150 people armed with sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

Macron's tribute took place just as Jean Marie Le Pen, the party's former leader and father of Marine addressed this year's FN May Day rally near the statue of national heroine Joan of Arc a few hundred meters away
French trade unions clash ahead of presidential polls

Le Pen hit back that the unions "are not defending workers' interests, they are looking after their own interests".

Fekl said that the incidents were produced by 'several hundred professional vandals who come with only one goal: to attack security forces, to smash a policeman and wreak damage'.

The Socialists and Republicans, the two parties that have governed France since Charles de Gaulle set up its modern institutions, were shut out of the race in the first round of voting on April 23.

That is a narrative Ms Le Pen will continue to push in the final days of the campaign, trying to convince voters Mr Macron is not just "same old" but is a puppet of the world of finance whose pro-business policies would not create jobs in France but send them overseas and leave French workers struggling.

Cheers of "Marine, president!" and anti-immigrant chants rose up in the crowd of thousands.

Le Pen, who hopes to mimic President Donald Trump's populist electoral victory, compared Macron to Hillary Clinton.

Ms Le Pen's campaign manager David Rachline also played down plagiarism accusations, painting her speech as a form of tribute to Mr Fillon.

Le Pen called Macron the candidate of "the caviar left" and "moralizing snobbery" and warned that his pro-business policies wouldn't create jobs but send them overseas and leave French workers hungry.

In another excerpt about prospects of cooperation with France's neighbours, where the words were again the same as in Mr Fillon's speech, Ms Le Pen added that this would require France not being "a vassal" of Germany.

"She is not Joan of Arc", the 88-year-old politician said, "but she accepts the same mission ..."

"Emmanuel Macron is just Francois Hollande who wants to stay and who is hanging on to power like a barnacle", she told a rally in Villepinte, a suburb north of the capital.

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