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August 8, 2022

French Socialist runner unveils platform, pledges deficit cut

PARIS – French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande yesterday presented a 60-point election programme, which aims to shift the burden of the economic crisis to the rich; tighten controls on the financial sector; and tackle youth unemployment, website Monsters and Critics reported.

“‘Our country needs change,” Hollande said as he presented his platform.

The main elements of his EUR 20 billion programme are an overhaul of the tax system to make it ‘fairer,’ by adding a new tax bracket of 45 per cent for the rich; a ‘generational contract’ that encourages companies to hire young people and keep older people in employment by reducing their social security contributions; a commitment to erase the budget deficit – estimated at around 5.5 per cent in 2011 – by 2017; retirement age rolled back to 60 for people with 41 years of contributions – a partial reverse of the 2010 pension reform, which increased the minimum pension age from 60 to 62. Hollande, a former Socialist Party leader and parliamentarian, is the favourite to win the two-stage election in April and May, with polls showing him having the support of between 30 and 31 per cent of voters, compared with 23-25 per cent for current President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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