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Focus on Europe

France: the Le Pen family feud

A very public family feud is being played out in France's right-wing National Front. Party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended from the party this month after he repeated his view that the Holocaust is a "detail of history". Now his daughter and National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen is hoping to win victory in key regional elections.

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Jean-Marie Le Pen had increasingly become a burden on the party he founded. His provocative remarks often landed himself, and the National Front, in hot water. On several occasions he described the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps as a "detail of history" - and was convicted on charges of racism. Marine Le Pen wants the National Front to shed this rabble-rousing image, preferring to focus on immigration restrictions, concern about Islam, and skepticism about the EU. But Jean-Marie Le Pen is refusing to be silenced.