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Macron estimates the cost of his electoral program at 50,000 million annually

French President Emmanuel Macron. / afp

The French president unveiled this Thursday to the press his “presidential project for France” with which he is running for re-election in April after almost five years at the Elysée Palace

BEATRIZ JUDGE Aubervilliers (France)

French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled his “presidential project for France” to the press on Thursday with which he is running for re-election in April after almost five years at the Elysee Palace. An exercise that lasted four hours in a warehouse on the Aubervilliers docks, on the outskirts of Paris, three weeks before the first round of the elections.

The centrist candidate, who starts out as a favorite in the polls, explained that in his electoral program “there are reforms that could be described as inspired by the left and by the right.” “What counts is what works for the country, what allows the French to live better,” Macron said.

The outgoing president estimated the cost of his electoral program at 50,000 million euros per year until 2027 and explained that it includes a reduction of 15,000 million euros in taxes.

Full employment is one of the objectives that Macron has set for the next five years and to achieve this he will continue with the reforms of the labor market and unemployment benefits.

If he is re-elected president of France on April 24, Macron announced that he will continue with the controversial pension reform, postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Macron wants to progressively delay the retirement age in France, which will go from 62 years currently to 65 years.

The candidate of La República en Marcha promised that if he wins the elections he will increase defense spending and reinforce civic service. He also promised better border protection to fight immigration. This would happen, at a national level, through a reform of the right to asylum and the right of residence, and at a European level, through the reform of the Schengen area and more money for Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

Macron, who officially announced his candidacy on March 4, has so far been virtually absent from the election campaign. The president-candidate, who is running for the elections with the slogan “With you”, justified his refusal to debate with his eleven opponents before the first round, which will take place on April 10.

“Neither the Constitution nor our customs say that the debate among all the candidates before the first round is the rule or the good way to confront good democratic ideas,” said the centrist candidate, who recalled that “from General de Gaulle to President Mitterrand, going through President Chirac, none of my predecessors (who stood for re-election) submitted to a debate» between the two electoral rounds.

Macron, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union this semester, has had a very busy international agenda in recent weeks. In addition to chairing the informal European Council in Versailles, he has had to deal in recent weeks with the crisis in Mali and Ukraine. Macron has promised the French that he will be president until “the last quarter of an hour.”

If the first round of the presidential elections were held in France this Sunday, Macron would obtain 30% of the vote and the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, 19.5%, according to the latest Harris poll.

Jean-Luc Mélechon, the candidate of La France Insumisa (the French Podemos), would obtain 13.5% of the vote, followed by the far-right Éric Zemmour with 11% voting intention and the moderate conservative Valérie Pécresse, with the 10.5%. The ecologist Yannick Jadot would obtain 5% of support; the communist Fabien Roussel, 3%; and the socialist Anne Hidalgo, 2.5% of the votes. According to the French electoral system, only the two most voted candidates go to the second round.

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