French National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen (L) speaks to journalists as party vice-president Florian Philippot (R) listens at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after they attended a meeting. File Picture REUTERS/PHILIPPE WOJAZER
French National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen (L) speaks to journalists as party vice-president Florian Philippot (R) listens at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after they attended a meeting. File Picture REUTERS/PHILIPPE WOJAZER

Paris — National Front leader Marine Le Pen said French banks have refused to meet with her to discuss the possibility of financing her presidential campaign.

All the other candidates had received funding from French banks, Le Pen said in an interview on France 2 television.

"The fact that the banks won’t lend to us, playing a political role, poses a real problem for democracy," she said. "It’s the banks who decide who can run and who can’t."

The leader of the anti-euro, anti-immigrant National Front said she is looking for foreign banks for financing.

In France public funds are provided to candidates for campaign expenses after presidential elections provided they win at least 5% of the vote.

Typically candidates borrow during campaign with the idea of using public funds to repay the loans after the vote.

Polls suggest Le Pen will win at least 20% of votes in the first round of the presidential election on April 23.

Bloomberg

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