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French PM warns of EU death if Le Pen wins presidency

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has warned that the European Union will not survive if far-right leader Marine Le Pen becomes president.

“The European Union, weakened by Brexit, would not be able to withstand the new shock that would be constituted by the arrival in power in France of a government that is openly europhobic,” wrote Cazeneuve in a column in the Liberation newspaper on Tuesday.

He further called on the country to vote for front-runner Emmanuel Macron in the decisive May 7 presidential run-off.

Macron, 39, and Le Pen, 48, won the first round of voting in the presidential election on April 23. Macron finished first on 24 percent, ahead of Le Pen with 21.3 percent.

Cazeneuve’s call echoed that of France’s outgoing President Francois Hollande on Saturday, when he asked the nation to vote for Macron in the run-off.

Le Pen has said that if she wins, she will pursue a policy of withdrawing France’s membership in the EU. The bloc has already been rattled by Britain’s exit, or Brexit.

Opinion polls indicate that business-friendly Macron, who has never held elected office, will take at least 61 percent of the votes against Le Pen after two defeated rivals pledged to back him to thwart her Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant platform.