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Political opponent shocked by Hollande’s decision not to go to Sochi

December 17, 2013, 7:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 17, 5:59 /ITAR-TASS/. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s third-largest political party, le Front National, and an outspoken political opponent of President Francois Hollande has expressed discontent with his decision to refrain from going to the Olympic Games in Sochi.

“We were shocked by Francois Hollande’s step,” she said in an interview with the Moscow-based daily Izvestia. “One may get an impression he is still living in the times of the Cold War. But Olympic Games symbolize peace and it’s the wrong time for political speculations.”

“If I were invited to the Olympic Games I would go there with much pleasure,” she said.

Ludovic de Danne, Front National’s chief advisor for European affairs described Hollande’s decision as “a case of overtly undiplomatic unfriendliness.”

French Foreign Minister Loran Fabius said on a televised political show of i-Tele channel that the president’s presence in Sochi was not envisioned. He also said neither he personally nor the president would attend the ceremony of opening the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as representatives of their country.

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