French far-right leader Marine Le Pen welcomed the early results of the Greek referendum on terms for a bailout from Europe as initial tallies showed the ‘No’ camp leading with results still being counted.
Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front party, said in a statement that the anticipated result was a victory against “the oligarchy of the European Union”.
“This ‘No’ from the Greek people must pave the way for a healthy new approach,” said Le Pen.
“European countries should take advantage of this event to gather around the negotiating table, take stock of the failure of the euro and austerity, and organise the dissolution of the single currency system, which is needed to get back to real growth, employment and debt reduction.”
Le Pen’s star has been on the rise in France and in Europe in the past year since her National Front party performed well in European parliamentary and French regional elections. Surveys suggest she could make the second-round run-off in the 2017 presidential election, if not win outright.
She has sought to capitalise on discontent over Socialist President Francois Hollande’s handling of the economy and rising unemployment, and has made Europe’s management of the Greek crisis a particular target for critique.
Her party’s platform supports the end of the common currency zone and a return to more national-based policies on everything from immigration to the economy.
However senior German conservative Michael Fuchs told Reuters on Sunday that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had caused a “disaster” after early referendum results showed the country has rejected euro zone bailout terms.
“I very much regret the result,” Fuchs said by telephone.
“Tsipras has caused a disaster and must see how to pick up the pieces. There is no chance that a solution will be achieved within 48 hours,” said Fuchs, who has long had reservations about bailouts for Greece.
A more moderate German conservative, Julia Kloeckner, said in a statement that Tsipras should not think he could put Germany and Europe under pressure with the referendum result but stopped short of calling for a Greek exit from the euro zone.