Schaeuble praises Fillon, says hopes Le Pen never becomes French president

German Finance Minister Schaeuble attends a meeting at the lower house of parliament Bundestag on 2017 budget in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble praised the economic program of French presidential contender Francois Fillon and said he hoped the conservative candidate’s far-right rival Marine Le Pen would never become president.

Speaking at a foreign policy conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Schaeuble said Fillon’s economic program had “strong plausibility” and could help France reach its true potential.

“To be clear, I hope that Mrs. Le Pen never becomes president in France,” he added.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Madeline Chambers)