THE ‘BLONDE PLAGUE’ OF EUROPE

BERLIN: Two years ago, I watched Francois Hollande take the helm of France, one of the European Union’s most stalwart backers, in a backlash vote that punished incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

But the real winner that day was Marine Le Pen – Le Peste Blonde (the blonde plague) to her opponents – the savvy, blond leader of the far right Front National.

She was the woman many loved to hate because after she took over the party in 2011, she orchestrated its transition from pariah status to mainstream and won big – in the first round of voting, the Front National took almost …

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