France: The three “blocs” vying for the legislative elections clash over programs

PARIS (Reuters) – The battle of programs began on Friday, three days before the official launch of the campaign for early legislative elections on June 30 and July 7 in France, with the newly united left advocating the repeal of retirement at 64 and the National Rally the abolition of land rights.

The Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, who is not running in the elections, warned of a risk of bankruptcy for France in view of the first measures unveiled by the two blocs which threaten the disintegration of the central bloc wanted by Emmanuel Macron, if we are to believe the polling institutes.

La France insoumise (LFI), the Socialist Party (PS), Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) and the Communist Party (PCF) unveiled on Friday a “legislative contract”, based around “20 acts of rupture”, notably the repeal of the contested pension reform, which pushes back the retirement age to 64, “within 15 days” after the legislative vote if they win.

Also in the sights of the “new Popular Front”, the latest reform of unemployment insurance and the immigration law adopted last December, which will be repealed.

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The alliance advocates the increase in the minimum wage to 1,600 euros net, the increase in the old-age minimum and the reestablishment of the solidarity tax (ISF) on wealth, via a draft amending finance law (PLFR) from August 4 .

“We vow to remain united to change life,” declared the national secretary of the PCF, Fabien Roussel, during a joint press conference with his left-wing allies.

The day after the agreement sealed by the left, the former head of the Place publique-Socialist Party list Raphaël Glusckmann, elected MEP on Sunday, finally lined up under the banner of the “new Popular Front” after several days of silence, a union also welcomed by former socialist president François Hollande.


The parties claim to have resolved their differences, in particular on the characterization of the Palestinian movement Hamas and on the accusations of anti-Semitism made against LFI.

“We have obtained strong support for Ukraine, for European construction, for the attacks of October 7 in Israel to be qualified as terrorist, against anti-Semitism,” said Raphaël Glusckmann on France Inter.

The MEP denied the resurgence of a “Nupes bis”, the agreement sealed for the 2022 legislative elections, which had granted the lion’s share to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party.

“The project has evolved and is today very far from what LFI defended,” assured Raphaël Glusckmann, de facto ruling out Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s service offers for Matignon in the event of victory. “We need a calming figure,” he said, citing again the name of Laurent Berger, former secretary general of the CFDT, whose mention hardly aroused enthusiasm in the ranks of the left.

Under the terms of the agreement between the four components of the “Popular Front”, LFI grants itself some 230 constituencies, the PS 170, or around a hundred more than in 2022, the ecologists around 90 and the communists around fifty.

The far right is also counting its troops, with the announcement by Jordan Bardella of 70 joint candidacies between the National Rally and the Republicans, whose president Eric Ciotti, excluded by the movement’s political office, is contesting its inclusion in court. gap following its rapprochement with Marine Le Pen’s party.

The latter, who was on Friday morning in her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais), called for “a government of national unity” to “get France out of the rut” in the face of extreme left which poses “a very great danger”.

The president of the RN, tipped for the post of Prime Minister in the hypothesis of a victory in the legislative elections, revealed some of his measures on Friday, before a first campaign trip to the Loiret.

“If I am Prime Minister, I will pass in the first weeks an immigration law which will facilitate the expulsions of delinquents and Islamists and I will abolish land law,” said Jordan Bardella on BFM TV and RMC.


“On economic issues, I have one priority, it is purchasing power. I will vote for the reduction of VAT on energy (…) and I will negotiate an exemption from the European electricity market “, he added.

The question of pensions will be addressed “once the emergency has been resolved”, he reaffirmed.

“I am certain that upon arriving at the head of state, we will discover many files in the cupboards,” he continued, recalling the desire of the RN to carry out an audit of the state accounts. he won on July 7. Marine Le Pen spoke of “a large commission to audit the nation’s accounts”.

Bruno Le Maire was alarmed by programs he considered ineffective and deadly for France.

On franceinfo, the minister castigated the “lies in economic and financial matters” of the RN and the “economic delirium” of the union of the left.

“All of these VAT reductions (wanted by the RN-Editor’s note) represent 24 billion euros in additional spending, this is exactly what we need to save in 2024 and what I plan to save for balance our budgets”, he declared in particular.

An OpinionWay poll for CNews, Europe 1 and Le Journal du Dimanche broadcast on Friday credits the National Rally with 32% of voting intentions for the first round of the legislative elections, ahead of the left alliance (25%) and the outgoing presidential majority ( “Together for the Republic”, 19%).

(Reuters editorial)

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