French Far-right Jabs At Sarkozy Over Joan Of Arc

Published January 7, 2012 1:45PM (EST)

PARIS (AP) — The father and daughter behind France's main far-right party have taken aim at conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy for what they called his insincere tribute to Joan of Arc.

The nationalist National Front party of Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen has in recent years rallied around the medieval French heroine and Catholic martyr who was burned at the stake by the English in 1431.

At a rally Saturday that drew a crowd of about 200 near a gilded Joan of Arc statue in Paris, Marine Le Pen said she welcomed Sarkozy's speech honoring Joan a day earlier — but hinted that he was being insincere.

France is celebrating the 600th anniversary of Joan's birth in eastern France on Jan. 6, 1412 — and she has been drawn into the race for the French presidency that culminates in elections this spring.

By Salon Staff

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