French President Francois Hollande said late Monday he would run again in the 2017 national elections if unemployment falls in “credible” and sizeable ways.
Hollande, speaking at the annual dinner of the press covering the president, reiterated his promise to run for a second mandate only if unemployment falls. Data show the rate fell only in three of the 38 months since he won the May 2012 presidency.
“Unemployment has to start falling long enough before" the presidential election due in the middle of 2017 to make it ``plausible,” Hollande told reporters in Paris. He said unemployment had to fall throughout 2016 to be credible.
He said “only results obtained can justify a candidacy” and that he saw his promise as a case of “morals in politics.”
France’s number of job seekers was stable in the month of June from May, yet near its record high, at 3.6 million.
In the first quarter this year, France’s unemployment rate dropped for the first time in more than a year as the economy began to revive with the help of low oil prices and monetary stimulus.
The unemployment rate fell to 10.3 percent in the first quarter from 10.4 percent in the previous three months, according to data released by national statistics office Insee.
Hollande is implementing a plan to cut spending by 50 billion euros ($54 billion) and channel most of that into tax credits or lower social charges for business.
The French president has also been pushing businesses to increase investment in order to generate the economic growth and job creation that eluded him in the first three years of his presidency. In that period, the economy’s average expansion was less than 0.5 percent a year.