Paris (AFP)

Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally, a party very opposed to immigration, on Thursday challenged the accusation of "xenophobia" and assured that she was "not afraid of foreigners".

"I have no negative feelings towards foreigners, I have no hatred, I have no fear of foreigners," said the far-right leader and candidate for the Elysee on BFMTV.

"I am not afraid" of immigration, "I just consider it bad for my country. I just see the negative effects of illegal immigration, which weighs on our public finances, which is one of the elements the worsening of insecurity in our country, which generates disturbances to public order, which we must deal with, ”she added.

"We find in a certain number of militants or voters of the extreme left this feeling that to fight against deregulated immigration, to control the borders, it is an act of xenophobia. I formally dispute this accusation", declared Marine Le Pen , who claims a "demonization" of his party of accusations of anti-Semitism and racism since taking office in 2011.

"When you see that I came out on top, including the Europeans, in Overseas, you realize that these accusations of xenophobia have no meaning," argued the member for Pas-de-Calais.

"The French realize that we can very well want to control immigration without having negative feelings towards anyone".

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