France’s Le Pen says plagiarism was media trick

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French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Tuesday that plagiarised passages of one of her speeches were deliberately used to gather media attention ahead of voting this weekend.
In an address on April 15, Fillon made specific mention of the geography of France’s borders, paid tribute to the French language and spoke of a third “French way” for the 21st century.
Le Pen’s speech compared with Fillon’s became a social media sensation and led to speculation about how she could have made such a serious error.
Speaking Tuesday night on the TF1 channel, she acknowledged the “buzz” and said she had wanted to draw attention to her similarities with Fillon, whose voters she is trying to attract.
“We have in part the same vision of France as voters for Francois Fillon, of its greatness, the role that it must play in the world,” the 48-year-old former lawyer said.
She currently trails in the polls ahead of a runoff vote on Sunday against 39-year-old centrist Emmanuel Macron which will decide France’s next leader.
“If we hadn’t have done it, you wouldn’t have spoken about it,” Le Pen told her interviewer ahead of a head-to-head debate with Macron on Wednesday night. “We know you so well, we know how it works.”

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