Listen Live
    French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen. (File)

    What French Right-Wing Presidential Hopeful Marine Le Pen Promises to Her Voters

    © AFP 2019 / Joel Saget
    Politics
    Get short URL
    French Citizens Elect New President (48)
    2234

    France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is projected to be the front-runner in the first round of the presidential election, outlined her policy in a manifesto comprised of 144 proposals, including plans to restore French sovereignty by leaving the eurozone and restoring border controls through multiple institutional reforms.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The proposals of the right-wing populist candidate are divided into seven blocs, dubbed 'Free France', 'Confident France', 'Prosperous France', 'Just France', 'Proud France', 'Powerful France' and 'Durable France'.

    "To restore order in France in five years. That is the commitment, which I make," Le Pen said in the policy outline.

    Frexit, National Identity

    The National Front leader seeks a "return to French national sovereignty" and to create "a Europe of independent nations." To achieve this goal Le Pen intends to start talks with EU partners on changing France's membership, or otherwise, to hold a referendum for the country's withdrawal from the union. Le Pen also has vowed to resign if French nationals vote against Frexit.

    The far-right nominee calls for restoring the national border and leaving the Schengen zone, as well as re-establishing passport checks to the French borders of other EU states. Keeping to the framework of her protectionist policy, she also suggests re-introducing a national currency.

    Le Pen pays special attention to the issue of national identity, French history, traditions and culture. She calls, in particular, to defend and promote the national language and official symbols of the French government, such as the national flag.

    The far-right politician urges the restriction of certain rights such as free education, available at the moment to all residents, to French citizens only, which would be put to voters via a referendum. Under her policy, France would  support its compatriots living abroad, further develop its former colonies and dependent territories, as well as establish a ministry responsible for the improvement of French departments overseas and expand its investment plan for French-administered territories.

    Migration

    Le Pen seeks to reduce the number of immigrants in the country, in particular by curbing asylum for requests made abroad in French consulates and decreasing migration to a net 10,000 people per year. She also suggests removing birthright citizenship and to make it impossible for illegal migrants to legalize their stay in the country.

    Moreover, Le Pen calls for denying free access to basic health care to undocumented migrants.

    Reforms

    In the document, Le Pen vows to hold a referendum on amending the constitution, in particular, by including a provision that all future changes of the constitution be made only through referendums, which can be organized if called for by at least 500,000 citizens. The presidential hopeful would cut the total number of lawmakers from the current 925 to 500, and decrease the number of administrative levels from six to three, namely the level of communes, departments and state.

    Rights, Freedoms

    The National Front leader advocates for ensuring human rights and freedoms in the country, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the rights of women. She also stresses the importance of protecting personnel data.

    Security

    As for security policy, Le Pen calls for establishing "rule of order everywhere and for everyone," in particular, through rearmament and increasing the number of the security force members, namely by hiring an additional 15,000 police officers. She also urges the disarmament and dismantling of criminal gangs, as well as the establishment of special forces responsible for fighting criminal trafficking.

    Le Pen intends to reinforce external and internal control by creating a counter-terrorism agency, responsible for the analysis of potential threats.

    The candidate vows to create 40,000 additional prison cells and put into force a system of automatic expulsion of convicted foreigners, as well as to tighten juridical system.

    At the top of her security priorities is the fight against jihadism and extremism, in particular against jihadist cyberactivities. She calls for the prohibition of all terrorist groups, closing mosques propagating extremist ideas, and the cutting of financing for cult-focused organizations, groups and activities. She urges the revocation of French citizenship to dual citizens having links to jihadists and to expel all foreigners being monitored by intelligence services.

    Le Pen also believes France should leave NATO's integrated military command and boost its own defense spending.

    Protectionism

    Le Pen calls for the strengthening of national industries by prohibiting imports of goods which do not comply with standards imposed on French producers, boosting home production at the same time.

    The far-right nominee also believes that France should not participate in free trade agreements like the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between Europe and North America, or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

    She also intends to impose additional fees on firms that hire foreigners, to prioritize employment of French citizens, as well as to keep public procurement open only to French firms as long as the price difference is not too great. Protection of the strategically important sectors of the economy is another key point of Le Pen's policy.

    Taxes, Promises

    Le Pen promises to review public finances, in particular to cut immigration and EU-related spending.

    The far-right presidential hopeful considers it necessary to make the taxation system more just by lowering three income tax brackets by 10 percent for the general public, while decreasing payroll and corporate taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, and to provide such enterprises access to loans with favorable interest rates.

    Moreover, she deems curbing tax evasion as a key point of her policy.

    Le Pen intends to make France "a territory of innovations" by stimulating support for start-ups, creating investment funds, as well as by increasing the research budget by 30 percent.

    The National Front leader considers ensuring social guarantees to be extremely important and proposes to introduce a lower retirement age, decreasing it from 62 to 60 years, and to increase aid to the very poor and elderly. She also makes calls to "reinforce inter-generation solidarity" by allowing each parent to transfer 100,000 euros ($106,000) to every child every five years without paying taxes instead of every 15 years, as the current legislation entails.

    Le Pen intends to increase the minimum pension, decrease the regulated price of gas and electricity by 5 percent. As regards the rights of employees, the presidential hopeful suggests keeping the working week to 35 hours, and making overtime hours tax-free. She also vows to introduce penalties for delays in payments.

    Education, Health Care

    The far-right candidate pays particular attention to the health care system. Le Pen stresses the importance of preventing the spread of diseases, makes calls to enhance the quality of medical assistance and increase the number of health care facilities to settle the problem of their distance to patients. She also urges to support all start-ups aimed at modernizing the health care system and making it more efficient and patient-oriented.

    Education is another key sphere, according to Le Pen. The National Front party leader seeks to improve the quality of education, to increase the number of schools and universities, as well as the arts and sports sections, and to review the general school program.

    Foreign Policy

    Le Pen seeks to make France an independent country in terms of diplomacy, with no alliance or ally influencing France's foreign policy.

    She believes Russia has an "essential balancing role to keep world peace" and "has been badly treated by the European Union," calling at the same time for lifting anti-Russian sanctions. The presidential hopeful believes that it is necessary to cooperate with Russia in solving the Syrian crisis.

    As regards Africa, Le Pen aims to make French policy one of "non-intervention, but not indifference."

    Talking about the United States, the far-right politician has repeatedly said that Washington is France's ally, though sometimes an adversary. Le Pen was among the first to congratulate US President Donald Trump on victory, expressing hope that he would reverse the interventionist policies of President Barack Obama.

    The first round of the French presidential election is set for April 23, while the run-off is scheduled for May 7.

    Topic:
    French Citizens Elect New President (48)

    Related:

    Paris Terror Attack: Does Daesh Want Marine Le Pen Elected?
    Where is the Love? Trump Praises Le Pen, But She’s 'Saddened' by His Bombs
    Paris Thursday Attack May Give Fillon, Le Pen Edge Over Rivals in Sunday Vote
    French PM Criticizes Fillon, Le Pen Security Stance in Wake of Paris Shooting
    French Most Scared of Fillon-Le Pen in Presidential Election 2nd Round - Poll
    Tags:
    French Presidential Election 2017, National Front, Marine Le Pen, France
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik