Frexit Ahead? French Presidential Candidate Promises EU Referendum

Bruno Le Maire
French presidential contender Bruno Le Maire in Nice, France, November 24, 2014. Le Maire has called for an EU referendum by 2022. Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Tensions are building over "Brexit," there's talk of a re-run of 2015's "Grexit" crisis, and now a French Republican presidential contender has moved to put "Frexit" on the map.

Bruno Le Maire, who served as agriculture minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's government and is one of at least nine candidates competing in the Republican Primary before 2017's election, wrote in an article published Monday in Le Monde that, if elected president, he would deliver a referendum on EU membership by 2022.

Le Maire promised to "give the floor to the sovereign people about Europe" by the end of his five-year term in order to settle a supposed issue with Europe's democratic legitimacy.

But Le Maire does not specify whether the referendum would give French voters a straight choice between in or out, as David Cameron has done in Britain, Le Figaro reported. Instead, it may focus on a change in France's relationship with Europe.