The contenders for the Elysee also promise “massive” investment plans

During an election, it is difficult to find more consensual than investment. Whether long-term, for the energy transition, social … While Emmanuel Macron presented, Tuesday, October 12, the main lines of France 2030, almost all of the candidates for the presidency of the Republic are proposing major projects intended to revive the economy, upgrade infrastructure, reindustrialize or reduce inequalities.

The plans are always “massive”, without being quantified, and readily refer to a golden age, that of the “glorious thirties”, where France invented the TGV, developed nuclear power or the Ariane rocket. Symbols of a prosperous era still very present in the collective imagination, and which have also largely inspired the executive.

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“Let’s make bold and strategic choices together again, as we did yesterday for nuclear, aeronautics or aerospace”, also said at the beginning of September Xavier Bertrand (formerly Les Républicains), in Châlons-en-Champagne, also speaking of nuclear, hydrogen and biotechnologies. In the shorter term, the candidate has also promised a “Massive investment program” in roads, rail, fiber and infrastructure.

This offensive discourse is found on the left, in particular at Arnaud Montebourg, with his “Industrial remount”. The former minister of productive recovery aims to deploy public money for “Rebuild flagships”, he declared, in Clamecy, at the beginning of September, promising “A new Alcatel to master our future 5G”, “A new Alstom to manufacture our own carbon-free and renewable energies” or “A new Pechiney to master our aluminum”.

“Reparation of France”

The context is obviously favorable. The consequences of Covid-19 have put issues of industrial sovereignty back at the center, and re-legitimized the role of the strategic state in preventing and managing crises. Central banks also make it possible to borrow heavily, while international organizations, which usually preach austerity, push the public authorities to support economies. So much so that, in the post-crisis world, investment is no longer assimilated to expenditure.

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On the side of environmentalists, we thus advocate a “Massive, social and ecological plan”. Yannick Jadot’s program provides for 40 billion euros in investments per year over the first two years of the five-year term, 50 billion per year thereafter. On the menu, energy renovation, the development of renewable energies and rail transport. “We are in a phase of repairing France, with a massive and rapid ecological transition effort to be carried out”, defends Eva Sas, in charge of the economic aspect of Yannick Jadot’s campaign.

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