Marine Le Pen unleashed a barrage of attacks on her presidential rival Emmanuel Macron as she tried to close a gap of some 20 percentage points in the only head-to-head debate of the French election campaign.
Le Pen, 48, said her centrist opponent was the candidate of the capitalist elite, and a friend to terrorists, who planned to shut down factories, schools and hospitals. Macron said Le Pen’s broadsides against state bodies meant she was unfit to lead the country as she struggled to defend her plans to leave the euro.
“You have threatened public employees,” Macron, 39, said as his opponent chuckled on the other side of the table during the almost three-hour debate Wednesday night. “Your words show that you are not worthy to be the defender of our institutions.”
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