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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  February 8, 2022 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour as newsday continues straight after hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. today, i'm in paris as france gears up for a presidential election in the spring which will test the level of anger and frustration in this country. the incumbent, emmanuel macron, looks pretty much certain to be a candidate and he's well—placed to make it into the second round run—off. who willjoin him there? well, my guest today
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is the long—time dominant figure in far—right politics, marine le pen. this will be her third bid for the presidency. in recent years, she's tried to detoxify her political brand, but has the strategy worked? marine le pen, welcome to hardtalk. it's a pleasure to be here. i'm looking at your political campaign. i'm thinking that every campaign needs momentum. and, right now, you seem to be lacking political momentum. why is that?
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but you have been dealt several very severe political blows in recent days. perhaps the worst of all was when your own family — your niece, marion marechal, she declared that she could not support you, she was actually going to support the other far—right candidate in this election, eric zemmour. she said that you had lost your vision, you had a lack of logic and vision in your campaign. how did that make you feel?
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the truth is, eric zemmour has made french people question what you really stand for. you used to say some of the things that he says but you took a decision years ago to moderate your language,
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to stop using some of the language about migrants, for example, about islam, that mr zemmour still uses today. you backed away from some of that language, but your own father said recently that this policy of yours of adapting, as he put it, with mainstream power, it is being punished by people on the right who no longer know what you stand for.
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but if i may, can ijust be clear — are you saying sorry for some of the things you used to say in the past that were deeply divisive and polarising? in the past, even six or seven years ago, you were describing migrants as bringing filth, crime, poverty and terrorism to france. are you saying that that language was wrong and that you regret using it?
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well, i'm not criticising you for too moderate and exploring —— well, i'm not criticising you for too
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moderate i'm exploring whether the french people really understand what you are for any more because they have a candidate, mr zemmour, who is saying we cannot accept any more muslim migrants in this country. indeed, we need to think of ways of sending them home. he talks about replacement, which is a concept white supremacists use around the world around a fear that christian civilisation is being overtaken by islam. if they want that kind of politics, they've got mr zemmour. so what. .. if you are still concerned about migration, what is your message?
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your message generally seems to be one of a failing france, a france that is deeply divided, where the economy is suffering, where globalisation is destroying the livelihoods of the french people. look at the truth, look at the fact that over the past year, the french economy has grown at 7% — an extraordinary figure — unemployment is down, the best figures since 2012.
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president macron, if he chooses to run again — as we know he will — he will have a strong economic story to tell the french people. and all of the polls say that right now, french people are much more concerned about the future of the economy than they are about your issue that we've already discussed — immigration.
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i asked you earlier whether you felt you made mistakes in the past, whether you was sorry for some of the things you said in the past. do you regret that you, in previous campaigns, embraced the idea of what we in english call �*frexit�* — france leaving the european union? that was one of your headline policies. you've now abandoned it. is that because you realise you were just wrong?
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well, your vision of what's happening in europe is very different from many europeans vision of what's happening.
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there's a collective response to the covid crisis which involves new economic cooperation, integration within the european union. we see a desire in many countries, including on the behalf of your government, for greater security integration in europe. and we see, according to a host of opinion surveys, that the approval rating of the performance of the european union has risen in many european nations, including france. so you, with your vision of where europe is going, are still out of step with the people.
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it isn't the truth and i sense it in your answer. isn't it true that if marine le pen were to be president of france, france would be at war with the brussels institution
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the whole of the time? your great friends, the political friends you have in europe are, for example, viktor orban in hungary, the polish government. you regard them as your friend. they are at war with the brussels institution. do you think the french people really want to turn france into the same sort of political enemy of the brussels institution that we see in hungary right now? crosstalk. the polish government has just been fined by the european union. crosstalk. but my question is, is that what you want for france? you don't feel now that
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you can tell the french people you would leave the european union but you seem to be telling them you would run a permanent war with the european union. let's talk about the vision you have for france, and i come back to yourfriends — viktor orban talks of illiberal democracy. he has expressed great admiration for authoritarian systems that we see in russia, in china, in turkey as well. joe biden said during his election campaign that he thought orban was running a totalitarian—style regime. now, you're great friends with viktor orban.
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your campaign has just taken millions of euros in loans from a hungarian financial institution just as, actually, back in 2014 you took a lot of money from a russian financial institution. it seems both your political sympathies and your financial support comes from regimes which, to many in france, look authoritarian. do you think that works for you politically? scoffs. crosstalk. is that the kind of democracy want to see in france? crosstalk.
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have you looked, for example, at the freedom of the media in hungary? really?
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i see. you're still, as a party, repaying the loan you took from russia in 2014. so, let me talk a little bit more about your relationship with putin. first of all, you regard putin as a friend, don't you? a man that you have great sympathy for.
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crosstalk. so, let me be specific. you say countries have interests — i understand that — but let's just look at what the french people could expect in foreign policy terms in terms from marine le pen. you said quite openly "berlin," — i'm quoting you — "berlin is not the right partner for paris in terms "of driving forward a european agenda." you have said that it would be absolutely wrong for the united states and western partners to impose sanctions, more sanctions on russia. you say it would be absolutely wrong for the united states to pressure nato to bring ukraine into nato. you say ukraine has no place inside nato. seems to me, in this current crisis we see in ukraine,
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you are quite clearly on the side of vladimir putin. you think that vladimir putin
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is only practising deterrence. what if russian forces move across the border? what if there actually is an invasion of ukraine beyond what we've already seen in the donbass? what if russian forces make a major military incursion into ukraine? would you still say that the west should not impose sanctions on russia? scoffs. my question is the same one — if russian forces go into ukraine, will you support sanctions? crosstalk. joe biden wants the most punitive sanctions, severe economic measures. would you support them?
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madame marine le pen, before we end, i'd like to get a sense of what you feel you have achieved in french politics. politics is about winning and you haven't won. this is your third presidential election campaign. you've lost two, the polls suggest you are not going to win this time either.
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laughs. i accept that — we should be careful. but i'm just wondering for you, does it feel like this has to be the last campaign? if you can't persuade the french people this time around of your vision for the future of france, will it be time to take the le pen name out of politics?
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marine le pen, it's been a pleasure talking to you. thank you for being on hardtalk.
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hello there. we've got the battle of the air masses taking place this week, certainly for the next few days, we will have a north—south divide, much colder air across northern areas with some wintry showers. further south, it'll be very mild indeed for the time of year, and there will be some sunshine around. so, the dividing line between the cold air to the north and the mild air to the south is this weather front, which will be hanging around through central parts of the country throughout tuesday, so thicker cloud for northern ireland, southern scotland, northern england, outbreaks of rain on this weather front. to the north of it, it's brighter with sunshine and blustery showers. these are wintry on the hills of scotland, and it will be windy here. further south, also quite breezy, but dry with sunny spells, a bit more cloud for wales and southwest england. a blustery day, as you can see across the board, but gusts will be reaching in excess of 50 mph across northern scotland into the northern isles. temperatures in single digits, to the north of the weather
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front to the south of it, 11 to maybe 14 celsius, so very mild indeed, particularly where you get the sunny spells. through tuesday night, that weather front hangs around through central areas, outbreaks of rain on it, slowly pushing southwards into england and wales, to the north of it, again, further snow showers. and these will be blustery, accumulating snow on the hills of scotland. very windy here, breezy in the south where it'll stay mild. so, into wednesday, then, that weather front slowly pushing its way southwards across england and wales. again, the mild air to the south of it, but more areas will be in the colder air on wednesday. so, that'll be scotland, northern ireland, northern england, perhaps north wales later in the day, plenty of snow showers across scotland. significant accumulations across the scottish hills, and it'll be very windy, gusts of 60 mph for northern scotland. a breezy day to come for all, but our weather front will be bringing more cloud across southern england, south wales, where it'll remain very mild. the mild air eventually gets
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pushed out of the way as that weather front slips into the near continent. keeping an eye on this feature, this little low pressure which could bring severe gales and some snow to northern scotland on thursday, but then for friday, there is a ridge of high pressure building in to settle things down. so, it is turning colder for all into thursday. you can see single figure values there. it's chilly on friday, but lighter winds with some sunny spells and the return of overnight frost.
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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines. in moscow, east meets west as russia and france discuss ways of defusing the military crisis brewing in ukraine. both sides say the talks were constructive protestors in london harrass opposition leader sir keir starmer, as borisjohnson faces more calls to withdraw a false accusation he made against him in the house of commons. millions of voters in the philippines have three months to decide on their chosen candidate as campaigning for the presidential election gets underway. 0ttawa police face mounting criticism for not breaking up a truck drivers, anti—covid protest that's brought
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the canadian capital to a standstill.

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