French prosecutors have asked the European parliament to lift the immunity of far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen over an inquiry into alleged fake parliamentary jobs, legal sources said on April 14, 2017.
Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon has risen in the polls just 11 days before the vote.
Le Pen wants to drop the euro currency, a move that would throw the future of the European single currency into doubt, and vows to re-negotiate France's relationship with the European Union, promising a referendum on EU membership if those talks fail. Le Pen argues that Muslim immigration and economic globalization are destroying France's identity, and polls suggest she could advance to the second round of France's presidential election, set for April 23 and May 7.
The first round of the French Election takes place on April 23.
In a rare foray into the campaign outgoing President Francois Hollande warned voters against being lured by Melenchon's showmanship.
In Fiscal Kombat the player roams the streets pretending to be Mr Melenchon as he battles against oligarchs and rival politicians.
"We need a pro-European France", German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Berlin.
His line - "When we workers are summoned by the police, we do go there, we don't have workers immunity" - left Le Pen silent and was widely picked up on social media.
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Some fellow leftists are frustrated that Melenchon and Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon didn't join forces; together they enjoy more poll support than anyone else.
However, putting Le Pen's name before the address garners some interesting results.
"There is a danger in simplifications and falsifications which make people look at the ... speaker rather than the content of what he is saying", he said.
Hollande, who has been France's president since 2012, said he did not stand as a candidate because he felt he would not get his party's backing.
The conservative Le Figaro newspaper called Melenchon "the French Chavez", alleging in a front-page story that his plans were inspired by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
"Once again my election victory is being announced like the onset of a nuclear winter, a plague of frogs, the Red Army's tanks and the landing of the Venezuelans", the 65-year-old leader of La France Insoumise (Unbowed France) wrote on his blog.