French presidential hopeful dismisses Turkey’s EU prospects

French presidential hopeful dismisses Turkey’s EU prospects

French right-wing presidential candidate Valerie Pecresse said in an interview with Kathimerini that she is against Turkey’s European Union accession and that, if elected, she would also stop the pre-accession financial assistance provided to Ankara.

“I am unimpressed by the intimidation of the Turkish government. I will oppose Turkey’s accession to the EU, the process of which has only been suspended,” she said. “And current pre-accession assistance should be called into question. With me as president, France will be at the forefront of the fight against Islamism and the protection of women’s rights.”

Pecresse, leader of the right-wing Republicans, also said she is “inspired” by Greece’s policy toward migration. “Greece is currently pursuing a courageous policy that inspires me: The asylum centers opened by the government on the islands of Samos, Kos and Leros reconcile immigration control and human dignity. We must implement such good practices in France,” she said.

She said she would also like to support the European agency Frontex, “which currently does not have the necessary resources to carry out its mission.”

On the war in Ukraine, she accused President Emmanuel Macron of pursuing “an arrogant and lonely diplomacy,” arguing that “if we are indeed allies – and not submissive – of the United States, we must have a real voice toward Russia.”

Pecresse said she believes she can beat the main contestant in the political center, incumbent Emmanuel Macron, although last week’s polls put her in fourth place, behind Macron, Marine Le Pen, Eric Zemmour and Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The first round of the French presidential election is on April 10. If no candidate wins an outright majority, a run-off will be held on April 24.

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