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June 23, 2017

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French far-right leader says pork or nothing for pupils

PARIS -- School canteens will no longer offer non-pork meal options in towns where France's anti-immigration far-right National Front party won local elections, its leader Marine Le Pen said Monday.

Le Pen reignited debate on a sensitive issue about the substitution meals targeting mainly Muslim and Jewish pupils for whom pork is taboo.

"We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus," Le Pen told RTL radio. "There is no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere."

She defended the decision saying it was necessary to "save secularism."

The FN, skillfully rebranded as more than just an anti-immigrant party, won control of 11 towns and more than 1,400 municipal seats nationwide in recent local elections, easily its best ever performance at the grassroots level of French government.

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