Slumping Far-Right Party Sells Paris HQ

Far-right, anti-immigrant politics in decline in France
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2008 5:40 PM CDT
Far-right presidential hopeful Jean-Marie Le Pen gestures as he addresses reporters at his party's headquarters in Paris, Friday, April 6, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – France's declining far-right party is selling its Paris headquarters to pay an €8 million debt, the Guardian reports. Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front party has agreed to sell the building, overlooking the Seine, for an estimated €12 to €15m—several million less than it had hoped. The party's future dimmed after two-thirds of its anti-immigrant candidates failed to garner 5% of the vote in last year's election.

Below 5%, French candidates are not reimbursed by the state for election expenses. The National Front bought the building 18 years ago in a move that signaled Le Pen's growing popularity. He made the 2002 election run-off, but has declined since. He even sold his bullet-proof Peugot on eBay before approving the sale of headquarters, which will become a French language school.