"In the past 15 days," Le Pen said late last week, "our party has acquired several thousand new members. We've received thousands of emails, faxes and letters from people who say, 'At last we have understood. You were right, Monsieur Le Pen. They said you were an extremist, but you were a visionary. You predicted everything'."For decades, the bogeyman of French politics has been predicting that France will be submerged under an avalanche of Muslim immigration and lose its identity and freedom unless it fights back.Le Pen's solutions to the riots are uncompromising: an immediate halt to immigration, the expulsion of all those immigrants without French citizenship and a "Frenchness test" for the others who want to stay on.At 77, he will not have many more chances to run for president, but he won 5million votes in 2002 and expects to get into the second round again in 2007."I have great hopes," he said, before returning to his telescope to scan the city below. "Change is coming."
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