world : French left forms 'Popular Front' to fight far right

world : French left forms 'Popular Front' to fight far right
world : French left forms 'Popular Front' to fight far right

Friday 14 June 2024 10:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned of a potential financial crisis if either the far right or the left won the elections. "I'm sorry, [National Rally] do not have the means to afford these expenses," he said.

The left, which has been dominated by France Unbowed in the outgoing parliament, has proposed scrapping the Macron government's pension reforms, lowering the retirement age to 60, a year after it was raised from 62 to 64, and it is also planning to raise the minimum wage from just under €1,400 (£1,180) to €1,600 a month.

Condemning this programme as "total madness", the finance minister said it would break the rules of the EU's stability pact.

Under the Popular Front agreement, France Unbowed is likely to have by far the loudest voice, putting up candidates in 229 of France's 577 constituencies, while the Socialists field 175 candidates, the Ecologists 92 and the Communists 50.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal warned that the left's plans would be very bad news for French people "who would see their taxes rise again". Ecologists leader Marine Tondelier hit back, accusing him of a leading a "Robin Hood government in reverse" with reforms that took money from the poor and left the wealthy alone.

One party that appears to be completely out of the race is the conservative Republicans, who imploded this week when leader Eric Ciotti called for the party to form an alliance with National Rally.

His colleagues then expelled him from the party and for a while he refused to budge from party headquarters in central Paris.

"It's all turning into a farce," Mr Ciotti accurately observed, after the Republicans (LR) held a new meeting to confirm his expulsion.

A court in Paris met on Friday to consider whether or not LR's decision to ditch its leader followed party rules. It was due to make a decision during the evening.

Jordan Bardella has claimed that 70 RN candidates will run jointly with the Republicans, although the figures are disputed by LR.

However, Republicans in the western suburbs of Paris have reached a local deal with Mr Macron's party to form their own alliance.

Mr Attal said candidates in Hauts-de-Seine had agreed to "block the extremes of the right and left and create a republican arc".

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