Paris: French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron said that the European Union (EU) must reform or face the prospect of a “Frexit” an exit from the 27-member bloc, the media reported.
Macron, the pro-EU centrist made the comments as he and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen entered the last week of campaigning.
“I’m a pro-European, I constantly defended during this election the European idea and European policies because I believe it’s extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalisation,” Macron told the BBC on Sunday.
“But at the same time we have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable.”
“So I do consider that my mandate, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project,” he said.
The presidential hopeful added that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was, it would be a “betrayal”.
“And I don’t want to do so…We will have a Frexit or we will have (Le Pen’s) National Front again,” he told the BBC.
Macron, who is leading in the polls by 20 percentage points, and Le Pen spent Sunday campaigning around France.
He visited Paris’s Holocaust memorial. Sunday was France’s national day of remembrance for the French Jews who were deported to Nazi Germany during World War II.
French voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide between the pair, reports the BBC.
Le Pen has capitalised on anti-EU feeling, and has promised a referendum on France’s membership.
She won support in rural and former industrial areas by promising to retake control of France’s borders from the EU and slash immigration.