Le Pen says banks will not quit France if France quits euro

PARIS (Reuters) - Investors will not pull their money from France if it leaves the euro, according to Marine Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate who pledges to call a referendum and restore the national franc currency if elected.

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, attends a political rally in Bordeaux, France, April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

In an interview on Sud Radio and TV channel Public Senat, Le Pen said that, if elected on May 7, she would open talks with the rest of the European Union and organize a referendum within six months.

“At the end of the six months, it will be the French people who decide,” she said, adding that this would allow France to see the outcome of elections in Germany and Italy too.

“There’s so much liquidity in the world that they are not going to pull their chips out of France, above all when France will once again be back on the road of economic growth,” said the leader of the anti-immigrant, anti-European Union and anti-euro National Front party.

“They are worried because they know they will no longer be able to make the profits they made previously”... The world has changed and that’s what’s worrying them. The world is moving away from free trade and laissez faire policy.”

Financial sector supervisors from the European Central Bank have asked banks to keep all scenarios in mind including how they would respond to a Le Pen win and/or the market impact that could follow any better-than-expected score in round one.

Le Pen is predicted by opinion polls to make it through the April 23 first round to the May 7 vote that pits the two highest scoring candidates against each other. They show her losing the decider to favorite Emmanuel Macron, who is staunchly pro-euro.

One of Le Pen’s flagship promises is to take France out of what she called “the prison” of European Union politics and the currency that 19 of the 28 EU countries share.

She has said she will negotiate to restore French national sovereignty and, if unhappy with the way those talks go, call a referendum where French voters decide on EU and euro membership.

In Tuesday’s interview she signaled that referendum would be called either way, within six or seven months.

“There will be a referendum in any case,” she said, adding that, assuming she was president, she would step down if her proposal in that popular vote was not supported.

Reporting By Brian Love; Editing by Andrew Callus