Two held over attack plot days before French election

Le Pen, who is expected to make it through to a second round showdown with centrist Emmanuel Macron on 7 May, told a rally Monday that she would impose a moratorium on "all legal immigration" in France.

French far right candidate Marine Le Pen has hardened her tone as voting approaches, promising to expel foreign extremists, freeze long-term visas and take back control of France's borders.

Two men aged 23 and 29 suspected of preparing an "imminent" attack were arrested Tuesday in Marseille, five days before the first round of the presidential election.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen hope to rally big crowds in Paris with their rival visions for Europe's future. Though she has distanced herself from her anti-Semitic, Holocaust-questioning father, Le Pen is no stranger to inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric.

And the real, if now unlikely, worry is a run-off in the second round of voting, on May 7 th, between the Far-Right and the Far-Left which could cause a major split in one of Europe's traditional mainstays. "The fate of Europe rests in the hands of a country that looks at snails and says, 'I have got to get you in my mouth'". This her Sunday promise is too solid and nearly undeliverable one, say the experts.

A separate poll in Opinionway, a daily, said Macron was tied with Le Pen on 22 percent, and that Fillon was snapping at their heels on 21 percent followed by Melenchon on 18 percent.

A potential change in German government policy would require France to finally tackle structural reforms, Macron said.

The race is being watched internationally as an important gauge of populist sentiment, captured notably by Le Pen, with her nationalist program presented under the slogan "In the Name of the People".

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon was warned about the danger on Friday, an aide said.

Macron, who has never held elected office, is running without the backing of an established party and claims to be neither of the right nor the left.

In a statement to AFP, the company said they were trying to "reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts".

He is focusing instead on security issues that resonate with many voters after two years of deadly attacks across the country.

  • Salvatore Jensen