Marine Le Pen turned to Hungary to finance her campaign

© Jérémy-Günther-Heinz Jähnick / Wikimedia Commons

After Russia in 2014, Hungary in 2022: we did not know the nationality of the European bank that gave the candidate of the National Assembly (RN) in the presidential elections, Marine Le Pen, a loan of 10.6 million euros to cover the costs of the campaign. Thanks to our colleagues from RTL, we now know that it is a Hungarian bank, the name of which has not been published for reasons of secrecy, explains the RN executive on the radio. A few details are given: we don’t know, for example, whether Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister who, like the RN, is part of the European sovereign parties and who received Marine Le Pen with great fanfare in Budapest last October, was of any help in the negotiations.

Until now, the RN president has been forced to run a low-cost campaign due to a lack of funds. When the loan was announced on 28 January, RN vice-chairman Jordan Bardella, in a message to RN supporters, along with the party’s treasurer, acknowledged that “this loan (was) obtained, as you know, in a very difficult context of tightening campaign finance rules and the reluctance of banks to finance the democratic life of our country, will allow us to calmly approach the last line of the campaign”, reports Le Monde.

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His call to open up more funding options

Last September, Marine Le Pen futilely warned Emmanuel Macron about his difficulties in financing his presidential campaign. In particular, she urged him to “open up other financing options.” A few months later, she was outraged, this time at France Inter, that about fifty banks refused to help her financially. “This situation should offend all people associated with democracy,” she condemned.

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The loan is expected to finance the “5,000 Markets” operation with buses that will travel around the country and public meetings for the campaign “Closer to the French, without the excesses, but with a mind freed from the constraints of fundraising”, reports Le Monde.

The far-right party, which is highly indebted, has struggled to find funding in recent years. In 2014, RN borrowed nine million euros from a Russian bank, this time for departmental and regional elections. In 2022, the party is still paying it off.

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