French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that his government would not tolerate a “lack of solidarity” between French President Francois Hollande and members of the far-right National Front.
The two men had been meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, and the two leaders exchanged jabs over the economy and other issues, as well as Macron’s decision to end the country’s national lottery program.
The comments by Macron came a day after the National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, accused the two French presidents of “colluding” to block the deal, which she said would help the far right.
“We will not tolerate the complicity between the President of France and the National Fascist Front,” Le Pen tweeted Tuesday.
The deal between Macron and Hollande on Monday was an effort to avert a national election next March.
A referendum was set for late January or early February, with the outcome expected to be a resounding victory for the National Party.
The ruling party, the Socialist Party, has long called for the end of the lottery program, and it has repeatedly accused the government of attempting to thwart a referendum vote.
On Monday, the French presidency issued a statement calling for “a fair and balanced referendum,” adding that it was the government’s position that the program was unconstitutional.
“This [political] deal is a direct violation of the constitution,” the statement said.
“The National Front and the President have been working to create a political alliance between themselves.
They will not be able to achieve this through this agreement.”
The deal struck by Macron and his National Front counterpart Marine Le, the pair agreed that the government would support the referendum with more than €5 billion ($6.4 billion) in financial support.
It was unclear how much money Macron would receive in return.
The National Front said it was willing to provide up to €5.6 billion in cash and other financial support, but was not willing to commit to any specific amount.
“With the support of the president of France, the National Council of the FN, we are committed to supporting the National Plan, with more funds and support than any other proposal from the French government,” the National Assembly wrote in a statement.
“In the event that the National Committee fails to reach a deal, we will not give up on the referendum and we will take all possible measures to ensure the vote goes ahead.”