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EU Sees No Need for Contingency Plan for French Elections, Says Spokeswoman

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04/21/2017 | 01:06pm CET

By Laurence Norman

BRUSSELS--The European Union is strong enough to survive a euro-skeptic victory in the coming French presidential elections and the EU's executive sees no need for contingency planning ahead of the vote, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Friday.

Elections are a "normal part of democracy," Mina Andreeva told reporters at the commission's daily briefing.

"And that is why we don't see a reason for contingency planning. This is not a crisis. This is an opportunity for democracy," she said.

Ms. Andreeva said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has already "expressed his confidence that the European Union is strong enough to survive even if a euro-skeptic would win the election."

She added: "He would want the pro-European forces to be strong but again, this is now for the French electorate to express their opinion."

France goes to the polls Sunday in what has become a tight four-way race for president which includes far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The two candidates receiving the most first-round votes will go through to a second ballot on May 7.

Mr. Melenchon and Ms. Le Pen have both proposed returning EU responsibilities to Paris. Their proposals could, via different routes, take France out of the euro and, like Britain, out of the EU.

Write to Laurence Norman at [email protected]

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