Marine Le Pen, French Presidential Candidate, Is Accused of Plagiarism

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Mr. Fillon, who drew 20 percent of the votes in the first round, only 1.3 percentage points less than Ms. Le Pen, did not qualify for the second round and has asked his supporters to vote for Mr. Macron.

In his speech in April at Le Puy-en-Velay, a small town in central France, Mr. Fillon referred to France’s land and maritime borders, and he praised the country’s language and culture. Ms. Le Pen used very similar terms on Monday.

Ms. Le Pen also cited phrases by the early 20th-century French statesman Georges Clemenceau and by André Malraux, a writer who served as culture minister in the late 1950s and ’60s, that Mr. Fillon had used in his April 15 speech.

Asked about the accusations that Ms. Le Pen had lifted parts of Mr. Fillon’s speech, Louis Aliot, the candidate’s partner and a vice president of her National Front party, told the LCI news channel Tuesday morning that it was a “clin d’œil” — meaning a “wink” or a “nod” — addressed to Mr. Fillon’s voters.

“With part of the right, we have the exact same view on the nation’s identity and on national independence,” he added.

Nicolas Bay, the party’s secretary general, told the Public Sénat news channel on Tuesday that the speech had made a “small loan.”

“It shows that Marine Le Pen is not sectarian, and that when one of her opponents, in this case from the first round, speaks well about France, she can borrow his comments,” Mr. Bay said.

On Twitter, Paul-Marie Coûteaux, a French writer and editor, provided a possible explanation for the similarities between the two speeches: the words were his, pulled from a book published in 1997.

“It is good (and significant) that Marine Le Pen and François Fillon, expressing themselves on France’s universal calling, do so with the same terms,” wrote Mr. Coûteaux, who founded but no longer presides over a small far-right organization close to the National Front called Sovereignty, Identity and Liberties.

“These terms, of a Gaullist inspiration, are those of my work ‘Europe’s Road to War,’” he said, referring to the heritage of former President Charles de Gaulle, and adding the hashtag #clindoeil.

Speaking to the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Tuesday, Mr. Coûteaux confirmed that he had provided notes to Mr. Fillon for his speech on April 15, but denied having done so for Ms. Le Pen.

Still, he told the newspaper that he supported Ms. Le Pen and was not “displeased” that the two candidates had used his words.

‘Three maritime coastlines’

What Fillon said: “This near perfect hexagon, a wonder of balance, three maritime coastlines: the English Channel and the North Sea, open on the Anglo-Saxon world and on the northern vastness; the Atlantic coastline, which for centuries has given us the open seas, and which hands us its adventures; the Mediterranean coastline, home to some of history’s oldest and richest human civilizations.”

What Le Pen said: The candidate referred to France’s “three maritime coastlines,” citing “the English Channel and the North Sea, which links us to the Anglo-Saxon world, and the northern vastness; the Atlantic coastline, which gives us the open seas and speaks to us of adventure; the Mediterranean coastline, home to some of history’s oldest and richest human civilizations.”

‘A set of values’

What Fillon said: France “is a history, is a geography, but it is also a set of values and principles passed down from generation to generation, like passwords.”

What Le Pen said: “But France is also a set of values and principles passed down from generation to generation, like passwords.”

‘France is something else’

What Fillon said: “If one learns our language, sometimes at great expense, in Argentina or in Poland; if there are waiting lists to sign up for the Alliance Française in Shanghai, in Tokyo, in Mexico or for the French high schools in Rabat or in Rome; if Paris is the first tourism destination in the world; it is because France is something else, and much more, than an industrial, agricultural or military power.”

What Le Pen said: “If one learns our language, sometimes at great expense, in Argentina or in Poland; if there are waiting lists to sign up for the Alliance Française in Shanghai, in Tokyo, in Mexico or for the French high schools in Rabat or in Rome; if Paris is the first tourism destination in the world; it is because France is something else, and much more, than the industrial, agricultural or military power that it can and must become again.”

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