Following are the main election pledges and positions of Socialist Francois Hollande who won France’s presidential election against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande gets a five-year term.
-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 ($1.32 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 five years.
*Limit growth annual in public expenditure by 1.1 percent.
*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.
-Salaries and Labor:
*Index the minimum wage to economic growth.
*One year target from start of mandate to reverse the increase in unemployment.
*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.
*Double the Livret A saving ceiling deposit to 20,000 euros and use the deposit to fund new social housing construction.
-European Central Bank and European Union:
*Request that the ECB expand its mandate to support growth, lend directly to states and give the European Stability Mechanism a bank license or allow the ESM to lend directly to states.
*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 in 2025 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, Security and Foreign Policy:
*Withdraw all French combat 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.
*Maintain the sanctions policy against Syria and Iran.
*Suspend sales of state-owned shares of companies.
*Impose limits on leveraged buyouts to exclude participation by financial firms.
*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.
*Creation of a public rating agency.
*Allow same-sex marriage and adoption.
*Allow vote for non-citizens in local elections.
*Hold a parliamentary debate on immigration quotas.
*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.