French Nazis welcomed by Le Pen

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Le Pen was responding to accusations by Francois Leotard, leader of the centrist UDF party, that the National Front had maintained longstanding ties to Nazi collaborators.

UDF is the junior partner in France's center-right ruling coalition.

Taunting the centrists, Le Pen said his party would accept as a member Maurice Papon, former centrist and budget minister, who is accused of ordering the deportation of 1,690 Jews, 223 of them children, from the southwest Bordeaux region while he was a Vichy official during World War II.