Benoît Hamon and Emmanuel Macron don’t have a lot in common. The former wants to raise taxes in France in order to finance a universal basic income. The latter wants to cut taxes and reduce public spending.
French presidential candidate François Fillon has gone down the same road as Brexiteers in the United Kingdom and Donald Trump in the United States by disparaging the institutions that stand in his way and appealing directly to “the people”.
Fillon, the center-right Republican candidate for the presidential elections in April and May, has dismissed charges that he paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros over the years for a fictitious job as a “political assassination”.
François Fillon has gone back on his word and said he will remain a candidate for the French presidency, despite an investigation being opened into accusations that he paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros over the years for a fictitious job.
Fillon, the center-right Republican candidate, had earlier vowed to pull out of the contest if such an investigation was launched.
Now he maintains it is up to the French people.
“Only universal suffrage, and not an investigation, can decide who will be the next president of the republic,” he told reporters in Paris.
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has said France must prove itself to Germany in order to breathe new life into the partnership that has been at the heart of the European project for decades.
French politicians have long wished for a restoration of parity between Europe’s two largest economies.
Macron told the financial newspaper Les Echos that his country cannot expect Germany to take French proposals seriously unless its finds the courage to do structural reforms:
The usual gesture in French presidential campaigns is to say, “I will turn over the tables and reorient the Franco-German relationship.” That doesn’t make sense and it never works.
The former investment banker and economy minister, who is one of the favorites to succeed François Hollande as president in May, reiterated a French proposal to create a European economy and finance minister to oversee hundreds of billions of euros in investments across the eurozone.
The good news just keeps coming for Emmanuel Macron.
Perennial French presidential candidate François Bayrou endorsed his fellow centrist on Wednesday and announced he would not run this year.
Bayrou, a self-described third-way centrist, was a candidate in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Each time, he failed to qualify for the second-round runoff.
For the elections in April and May, Bayrou had been polling at 5-6 percent support. If all his voters switch to Macron, the former economy minister would easily best the right-wing candidate, François Fillon, and qualify for the crucial second voting round against the National Front’s Marine Le Pen. Read more “Bayrou Throws Support Behind Fellow Centrist in France”
Polls put François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron neck and neck to qualify for the second voting round of the French presidential election in May. Whoever gets the most support in the first round would face off with the far right’s Marine Le Pen in the second.
Emmanuel Macron’s chances of winning the French presidency have never looked so good.
Recent surveys have him neck and neck with the conservative candidate, François Fillon. In some, he is even beating Fillon into third place, which would give Macron a spot in the second-round runoff against Marine Le Pen.
By picking Benoît Hamon, a relatively inexperienced far-leftist, over the reformer Manuel Valls on Sunday to lead the French Socialist Party into the elections in April and May, the left may have thrown away what little chance it had of retaining the presidency.
Emmanuel Macron must be smiling. The defeat of his former boss could have hardly come at a better moment for the former economy minister, who is running for president independently.