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Competitiveness and industrialization at the heart of the speeches of the candidates in front of the bosses

Competitiveness, production in France, ecological transition and wages: in front of around two hundred entrepreneurs, presidential candidates Fabien Roussel, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Valrie Pcresse, ric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen defended their economic program on Monday.

Less than two months before the presidential election, the six candidates spoke in a police atmosphere in front of business leaders, during a meeting organized by the Medef, the Institut de l’entreprise and the chambers of commerce and industry, at the heart of the Station F Paris start-up incubator.

Absent at the last minute, Jean-Luc Mlenchon, not available according to the Medef and who wanted to send a representative, an option refused by the organizers.

The exchanges were above all an opportunity for the candidates to try to convince the business world that they intended to defend their interests during the next five-year term.

Unsurprisingly, the question of competitiveness was at the center of the speeches, the candidates having all pointed to the record trade deficit recorded by France last year.

The right-wing candidates have defended a reduction in the tax burden on companies, ric Zemmour, Marine Le Pen and Valrie Pcresse promising in particular to continue the reduction of production taxes.

Fabien Roussel wants him to act rather on the energy bill of companies, the communist candidate also defending the nationalization of a bank and the insurer Axa to allow the state to invest more in the economy.

Anne Hidalgo has campaigned for the status quo on business taxes. And the ecologist Yannick Jadot offers an ecological bonus malus on economic policy tools, in particular corporate tax, or via a climate ISF, also defended by the socialist candidate.

Proposals that were unlikely to arouse the enthusiasm of the audience, but which Yannick Jadot repeated to assume, insisting on the great climate challenge to be taken up collectively, and his desire to defend ecological patriotism.

The ecological transition will be done with the companies, or it will not be done, he assured.

Another widely shared need: the industrialization of France.

This happens in particular for right-wing candidates by simplifying standards, Valrie Pcresse wanting to create a committee of the ax to debureaucratize the administration, when ric Zemmour leans for a high commissioner for administrative simplification.

If the question of Europe divided the candidates, on the budgetary rules or on the French sovereignty in the European Union, all defended a carbon tax at the borders of the EU.

Wage increases

They also want the state to invest massively in the economy: via a sovereign fund for Marine Le Pen which would attract French savings, while Yannick Jadot proposes to mobilize 25 billion euros in the ecological transition, and Anne Hidalgo four industrial odysseys in health, mobility, digital and ecological transition.

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The candidates finally said they wanted to increase net salaries, while purchasing power is the first concern of the French in this campaign, whether by lowering charges on the right, or by increasing the minimum wage for representatives of the left. .

Faced with business leaders rather worried about the level of public spending, the candidates also tried to reassure them about the financing of their program, even if the subject of public debt was only slightly discussed.

Only Valrie Pcresse has strongly emphasized the savings she wants to make: 45 billion euros, in particular through the elimination of 200,000 positions in the public service.

Marine Le Pen also justified her partial abandonment on the principle of retirement at age 60 by the level of public debt.

At the end of more than three hours of exchanges, the boss of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bzieux, who had called on the assistance for a respectful attitude, refused to support this or that candidate.

Our concern was to refocus the public debate on essentially economic and also social issues: mission accomplished I would say on the part of the candidates, greeted Patrick Martin, deputy president of Medef.

We see all the same, and you will not make me say who I think, that in the eyes of business leaders, certain programs are more powerful, more effective, more relevant than others, he commented.

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