The National Front’s candidate for the French presidency says the “party is over” with regard to free education for children

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France’s notorious Marine Le Pen has once again stirred controversy within the French republic, this time vowing to end free education for the children of France’s illegal immigrants, challenging high-spending on public services for non-citizens. “I’ve got nothing against foreigners, but I say to them: If you come to our country, don’t expect to be taken care of, to be looked after, that your children will be educated for free,” Marine Le Pen said at a rally in Paris. The leader of the National Front follows in the line of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a fixture of French far right politics for decades; however, unlike her father, Marine Le Pen has a much more widespread appeal and enjoys greater electoral presence than her father ever did.

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Marine Le Pen is expected to be one of two candidates during France’s runoff presidential election next year, pitting France’s traditional leftist humanitarianism against a reactionary, right-wing movement that seeks to preserve France’s sovereignty in the face of what it sees as uncontrolled immigration and overreaching organizations like the European Union.

Critics of Marine Le Pen cited France’s tradition of free education for children, going back for over one hundred years, and posited her suggestions as being antithetical to French culture. France has suffered from multiple terror attacks and remains in a state of heightened alert, leading to a growing base of support for extreme measures like those Marine Le Pen’s National Front support. The major parties are working towards preventing a far-right victory next year in a fear that Marine Le Pen’s election could not only lead to massive changes within France itself but could also have dire implications for the future of the European Union. Current Socialist President François Hollande will not seek re-election and the Socialist Party has yet to select his successor.

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