Putin’s French Mascot Denied Financing For Her Campaign

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French banks have refused to meet with Marie Le Pen, a pro-Putin National Front leader, to discuss the possibility of financing her presidential campaign, politician revealed in interview.

“The fact that the banks won’t lend to us, playing a political role, poses a real problem for democracy,” she said. “It’s the banks who decide who can run and who can’t.”

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Le Pen announced that she is looking for foreign banks to finance her campaign.

According to the National Front treasurer’s Wallerand Saint Just she needs to raise to raise the 20 million euros ($21 million) to fund French presidential and legislative campaigns in 2017.

In December 2016 Le Pen lost a loan from First Czech Russian Bank after the Central Bank of Russia revoked the license.

“The loss of the FCRB was a hard blow for us,” the party’s treasurer Saint Just said in a telephone interview. “The Russia loan was a stable resource. Now we are still searching for loans.”

National Front has been financed by its Russian patrons for at least last three years.

FCRB lent the National Front 9 million euros in 2014. In the same year, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen’s political fund Cotelec received another 2 million-euro loan from a Russian-backed fund based in Cyprus, news website Mediapart reported. Saint Just said Cotelec helped fund the party’s 2015 regional campaign.

(Bloomberg, Le Monde, pht)

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