The deadly Ebola virus could solve France's immigration problems "in three months", Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder and honorary president of France's far-Right Front National, has said in remarks which have shocked the country's political establishment.
Speaking on Tuesday night in Marseille shortly before a joint rally with Marine Le Pen, his daughter and current party leader, Mr Le Pen, 85, said: "There is a demographic explosion in the world and a risk of submersion. A replacement of (the national population) is under way."
However, he added: "Monsieur Ebola can solve the problem in three months."
Ebola is one of the most feared infectious diseases in the world and there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the viral haemorrhagic fever. A current outbreak in Guinea has killed at least 83 people – the first in Western Africa in 20 years and the first time that Ebola has been confirmed to have crossed international borders.
Mr Le Pen, who is running to be a euro MP in the South East constituency, made the inflammatory remarks ahead of a public speech during an exchange with French journalists, many of whom relayed his comments.