Spread the love

Major economic oral of the parties in France

Photo: Julien de Rosa Agence France-Presse “You can raise your hand, billionaires, and I will apologize to you for the effort I am asking of you in terms of solidarity and economic patriotism,” said Boris Vallaud (right).

Ali Bekhtaoui – Agence France-Presse and Martine Pauwels – Agence France-Presse in Paris

Published at 1:01 p.m. Updated at 3:25 p.m.

  • Europe

The left is asking billionaires to make an effort, the far right wants to reassure: the representatives of the main parties involved in the legislative blitzkrieg in France took their grand oral exam in front of the employers on Thursday.

< p>The leader of the National Rally (RN, far right) Jordan Bardella, leading in the polls, that of La France Insoumise (far left, LFI) Jean-Luc Mélenchon or the current Prime Minister Gabriel Attal ?

“The French will choose a prime minister” on June 30 and July 7, said Mr. Attal, leader of the presidential camp, personalizing the legislative campaign around these three figures, even though the left-wing coalition of the New Popular Front (NFP) has not yet designated its future candidate for the post of head of government in the event of victory.

While his majority is worried about the animosity aroused by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in public opinion, the prime minister tried Thursday to take back the reins by traveling to the west of the country, urging the French to give “an absolute majority” to his camp. Words already used identically by Mr. Bardella, who would refuse the position in the event of a relative majority on July 7.

But his stroll in the city of Le Mans was cut short by around thirty demonstrators, one of whom shouted: “You are the doormat of the extreme right,” noted an AFP journalist.

Targeted from all sides by the oppositions and pinned down on Wednesday by the European Commission which opened the way to procedures for excessive public deficits, the presidential camp tried to defend its economic program in front of business leaders.

It was former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe who opened the series of hearings in front of bosses gathered in Paris, repeating his attachment to the pro-business policy deployed by the current presidential majority.

“We absolutely must not change the logic,” he declared in front of a large audience made up of employers’ organizations. We must “even go further,” according to him.

“Economic patriotism”

He was followed by two figures from the left-wing coalition, Éric Coquerel (LFI) and Boris Vallaud (Socialist Party), who defended a program accused by the executive to be expensive.

On stage, Mr. Vallaud proposed a “new productive pact” uniting workers, captains of industry and consumers; and called on billionaires to “an effort at economic patriotism.” Criticized for internal disagreements over the costing of the program, Mr. Coquerel promised “something homogeneous” by the end of the week.

The latter received boos from the audience when he made the distinction between “those who produce wealth in this country and those who primarily look at stock prices.” The left alliance plans to present the costing of its program on Friday noon during a press conference.

This high mass was an opportunity for far-right leader Jordan Bardella and Éric Ciotti (Les Républicains, right) to appear side by side for the first time since the announcement of their alliance. The latter broke the cordon sanitaire that had existed until then between the right-wing party and the far right, to the great displeasure of the main LR executives, who entered into open war with Mr. Ciotti.

M. Bardella denounced the government's “budgetary unreason” and the “risk of economic decline”, pledging to “completely” eliminate a production tax that weighs on businesses – this last measure also being defended by the majority.

On the repeal of the pension reform – contested in many demonstrations, she pushed back the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 – a promise whose terms remain unclear, the doubt has not been dispelled: “We have absolutely not understood what the timetable and reality would be” for the repeal of the reform, reacted Patrick Martin, head of one of the French employers' organizations, the Medef, at the end of the hearings.

Concerning the left, Mr. Martin lambasted the proposal to increase the minimum wage to bring it to 1,600 euros against nearly 1,400 euros net today, saying “if we want to precipitate the bankruptcy of companies, let's go for it cheerfully.”

Appeals dismissed

Despite this, electoral promises have multiplied, within the left coalition, on the far right and even within the government after recent commitments from Gabriel Attal in favor of purchasing power. The latter also reiterated that taxes would not increase — a “golden rule,” he said.

The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, however warned during these hearings: “France's budgetary room for maneuver is zero.”

Who will be the most convincing ten days before the election ? An Ifop-Fiducial poll for LCI, Le Figaro and Sud Radio noted on Thursday a slight erosion of the RN and its allies to 34% of voting intentions in the first round, ahead of the left (29%) and the presidential camp (22%), the latter benefiting from a small progression over a few days.

One thing is certain, the vote will take place: the Constitutional Council rejected on Thursday ten appeals that contested the decree calling the voters, judging the deadlines to be in accordance with the fundamental law.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116