How France's far-right RN party plans enriching its supporters out of public funds

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To fund its campaign for this month’s European Parliament elections, the French far-right Rassemblement National party (the renamed Front National) has raised around 4 million euros through so-called “patriotic” loans from its members and supporters, to who it has promised a 5% interest rate. The party will submit the amounts raised, with interest, in its application for a post-election refund of campaign spending that is granted to parties and paid out of the public purse. The generous interest payments paid to its lending members and supporters will cost the taxpayer around 200,000 euros, and the party says it plans employing the same strategy in future elections. Marine Turchi reports.

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Many political parties in France have faced difficulties in financing their campaigns for this month’s European Parliament elections because of the increasing reticence of banks to offer them loans. But the far-right Rassemblement National (previously called the Front National), has found a way around the problem by calling on its supporters to lend money for its campaign, offering an attractive 5% return on their investment which ultimately will be paid back by the public purse.