End of the euro? French presidential candidate plots return of the franc

If Marine Le Pen has her way, the French will soon pay for their baguettes with francs, not euros.

The presidential candidate from the anti-EU, anti-immigration National Front party is all about national sovereignty and independence.

She wants France to take control of its money, subject to a referendum that would lead France out of the European Union and its shared currency.

But how would France pull off a euro exit, or "Frexit"?

No country has left the euro since its creation in 1999.

A number of economists paint dire scenarios in which the departure of one of the euro's 19 countries unleashes chaos: market plunges, controls on money transfers, customs officers stopping people carrying suitcases of cash out of the country, a plague of defaults and lawsuits on bonds and contracts.

The euro was designed to be irrevocable. It's the "Hotel California" principle, as in the Eagles' song: you may wish to "check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Le Pen is leading polls for the first round of voting April 23; most polls and prognosticators see her losing the second round on May 7.

But after the British vote last year to leave the 28-member European Union, and after Donald Trump's election as U.S. President, fewer people are taking a Le Pen defeat for granted.