Sarkozy and Hollande’s French Election Pledges and Positions
Following are the main election pledges and positions of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande and incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy. The first round of French presidential elections is April 22. The runoff is May 6.
France’s president holds a five-year mandate. The next election will be in 2017.
-Deficit and growth targets:
*3 percent of gross domestic product public budget deficit and 1.7 percent GDP growth in 2013.
*Zero percent deficit in 2017 and 2 percent to 2.25 percent growth.
*88.6 percent of GDP in 2013.
*80.2 percent of GDP in 2017.
*Impose a tax on financial transactions.
*Impose a 75 percent income tax on earnings above 1 million euros ($1.31 million) and raise the rate to 45 percent for the income bracket between 150,000 euros and 1 million euros per year.
*Repeal 29 billion euros of tax breaks over the next five years.
*Increase total tax level to 46.9 percent in 2017 from 45.1 percent in 2012 (payroll and profit).
*Increase tax on biggest companies to 35 percent.
*Reduce tax on small and medium companies to 15 percent.
*Scrap Sarkozy’s 1.2 percent VAT increase.
*Raise state spending by 20 billion euros over next five years.
*Limit growth in public expenditure by 1.1 percent per year.
*Allow those who have worked more than the legal minimum of 41.5 years to retire from the age of 60.
*Limit pay of executives at state-owned companies to 20 times the lowest wage.
*Total number of civil servants won’t rise.
*Hire 60,000 teachers and school employees and 5,000 police officers over next five years.
*Hire 150,000 youths in state-subsidized jobs over the next five years.
*Cut French president’s and Cabinet ministers’ pay by 30 percent.
*Index the minimum wage to economic growth.
*Pass legislation to split banks’ retail and investment activities as early as July or early August.
*Impose a special tax on banks (no details given).
*Curb bonuses, ban “toxic” financial products, ban French banks from operating in tax havens.
*Create a French public bank to support industry.
-European Central Bank and European Union:
*Request that the ECB expand its mandate to support growth, lend to directly to states and give the European Stability Mechanism a bank license.
*Renegotiate the EU’s fiscal accord to allow for the issuing of joint euro bonds and for funding industry and growth measures.
*Amend the fiscal treaty to add growth measures and oppose European policy that’s based only on austerity measures.
*Opposition to balanced budget “golden rule.”
*Impose a carbon-emission tax at EU borders and create an EU energy policy.
*Cut France’s nuclear energy share of total electricity output to 50 percent from 75 percent today.
*Freeze gasoline prices for three months after elections.
*Restore a “floating” fuel tax to allow prices to drop when the price of refined fuel products falls.
*Close the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, finish construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactor and abandon construction of Penly nuclear reactor.
-Defense and Security:
*Withdraw all French troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.
*Maintain France’s nuclear weapons as deterrence.
*Could reject NATO missile defense shield that’s being built under U.S. leadership.
*Suspend sales of state-owned shares of companies.
*Impose limits on leveraged buyouts to exclude participation by financial firms.
*Allow same-sex marriage and adoption.
*Ban the word “race” in the French constitution.
*Amend the constitution to make it say that France is a secular state.
*Achieve gender parity in the government.
*Hold a parliamentary debate on immigration quotas.
*Build 500,000 housing units per year of which 150,000 are rent controlled.
*Decentralize the French state and give local and regional leaders more power.
-Deficit and Growth targets:
*3 percent deficit and 1.75 percent growth in 2013.
*Zero budget deficit in 2016 and 2 percent GDP growth.
* 89.2 percent of GDP in 2013.
* 83.2 percent of GDP in 2016.
*Cut taxes on low wages and scrap the state bonuses for smaller incomes.
*Create a minimum corporate tax on the worldwide revenue of the biggest French companies.
*Create a minimum tax for French expatriates who are evading the tax national system.
*Create a tax for Internet companies by taxing advertising.
*125 billion euros of savings by the end of 2016 by:
-79 billion euros spending cuts over 5 years.
-45.5 billion euros in new revenue.
-limit public spending increase by 0.4 percent per year.
*Achieve a budget surplus of 0.5 percent in 2017.
*Cut health care spending by 13 billion euros over five years.
*Continue policy of non-replacement of one of every two retiring civil servants at the local and regional levels.
*Require all long-term unemployed to undergo job training, and cut off benefits to those who refuse jobs in their new field.
*Top executives’ pay and perks to be voted on by shareholders instead of board of directors.
*Ban large pensions and golden parachutes for top executives.
*More measures to wind down the 35-hour work week.
*Scrap labor taxes for companies that hire people aged 55 or older.
*Raise teachers’ salaries by 25 percent if they work eight hours more per week.
*Introduce a financial transaction tax.
*Imposed tighter regulations (no details given).
*Revise the Schengen agreement for open borders to curb illegal immigration.
*Introduce a “Buy European” act.
*20 percent of public tenders should be given to small and mid-sized EU companies.
*Maintain France’s current energy mix, with dominance of nuclear power; 23 percent renewable energy by 2020.
*Cut by half the number of immigrants entering the country.
*Tighten laws on granting work permits and French nationality.
*Limit social welfare to foreigners who have been living in France for more than 10 years.
*Don’t allow same sex marriage or adoption.
*Organize referendums if unions or lobby groups block changes on labor or immigration laws.
*Label Halal meat.
*Ban calls for jihad on websites.
*Make it a criminal offense to frequent extremist websites.
*Add a share of proportional representation to voting in legislative elections.
*Ease laws to allow more Sunday opening for stores.
To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org