French far-right leader heckled
Marie Le Pen faces protests in Italian island as she visits centre for North Africa immigrants.
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2011 07:31 GMT

Just weeks into her new job, Marie Le Pen, France's far right leader, was greeted by protesters in the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Le Pen said her visit was aimed at gathering information, not a provocation, but added that Europe was "impotent" to the challenge of immigration and needed to find a solution.

But the island's mayor backed her. "She is coming here to understand what is happening here," he said.

Nearly 9,000 people have arrived on the island since January, many fleeing unrest in North Africa.

Al Jazeera's Shamim Chowdhury reports.

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