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France's Le Pen abandons 'Frexit' and franc pitch, Telegraph newspaper says

FILE PHOTO: Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front political party vice-president and European deputy, listens during an interview with Reuters at the party's headquarters in Nanterre near Paris, France, December 7, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen will abandon her pitch to leave the European Union and restore the French franc, the party’s chief economic strategist was quoted as saying by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

Le Pen said on Friday that the far-right party would start debating its trademark anti-euro stance after next month’s parliamentary elections.

“There will be no Frexit. We have taken note of what the French people told us,” Bernard Monot, the party’s chief economic strategist, told The Telegraph.

“I continue to think that the euro is not technically viable but it makes no sense for us to keep insisting stubbornly. From now on our policy will be to renegotiate the EU treaties to give us more control over our budget and banking regulations,” he was quoted as saying.

Leaving the euro and the European Union were key pledges of Le Pen’s failed presidential bids this year and in 2012. A majority of French voters is in favor of keeping the currency, opinion polls show.

President Emmanuel Macron has sought to reinvigorate the Franco-German relationship which lies at the heart of the European Union. During the presidential election campaign, Macron warned that the euro may not exist in a decade if Paris and Berlin fail to bolster the currency union.

Macron beat Le Pen in a May 7 run-off vote but the long campaign exposed deep divisions over France’s role in Europe, immigration, and policies to revive a sluggish economy bedeviled by high unemployment.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Heavens