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Factbox: France's Le Pen sets out presidential election manifesto
February 4, 2017 / 11:52 AM / 8 months ago

Factbox: France's Le Pen sets out presidential election manifesto

LYON, France (Reuters) - France’s far-right National Front detailed 144 proposals for party leader Marine Le Pen’s election bid, including leaving the euro and a vote on European Union membership.

Here are the main proposals from the anti-immigration party’s manifesto for the April and May presidential election:

6 MONTHS TO RENEGOTIATE THE EU OR GO FOR “FREXIT”

* Election to be immediately followed by six months of talks with EU partners with the aim to radically change France’s membership and turn the bloc into a loose cooperative of countries: no more euro, border-free area, EU budget rules or pre-eminence of EU law.

* Referendum on EU membership at the end of the 6 months. Le Pen to recommend leaving if does not manage to radically change the bloc. Most likely scenario is therefore “Frexit.”

LEAVE THE EURO

* The manifesto gives no details but a top FN official said would go together with: re-denominating the debt stock in the new currency, having the central bank defend that new currency and giving the government the right to order the central bank to buy its bonds.

* Would be accompanied by some form of loose monetary cooperation which could for instance manage exchange rate fluctuations.

PROTECTIONISM

* Public procurement to be open only to French firms as long as the price difference is not too big.

* “Intelligent protectionism” includes a 3 percent tax on imports. Le Pen’s adviser Jean Messiha told Reuters the FN wants to force retailers to hold a certain percentage of French goods on their shelves.

* Reject international trade treaties

“NATIONAL PREFERENCE”

* Reserving certain rights now available to all residents, including free education, to French citizens only, which would be put to voters via referendum.

* Employers who hire foreigners to pay a tax worth 10 percent of the salary paid to those people, Le Pen’s deputy Florian Philippot said.

SECURITY, DEFENCE

* Hire 15,000 police, build jails to make room for another 40,000 inmates.

* Automatically expel foreigners who have been condemned in court. Also expel all foreigners that are monitored by intelligence services for links with radical Islam. Close all mosques suspected of links with radical Islam.

* Leave NATO’s integrated command, boost defense spending.

IMMIGRATION

* Make it impossible for undocumented migrants to legalize their stay in France.

* Curb asylum to requests made abroad, in French consulates.

* Make it much harder to become a French citizen -- being born in France would give no right to citizenship anymore.

* Curb migration to a net 10,000 people per year.

* Stop giving free basic healthcare to illegal migrants.

REFERENDUM

* Allow referendums to be organized on issues called for by 500,000 citizens.

* Cut the number of lawmakers by nearly half.

ECONOMIC TARGETS

* Says gross domestic product to grow by 2 percent in 2018, well above Bank of France’s 1.4 percent forecast. The French economy grew by 1.2 percent in 2016, according to the INSEE statistics office.

FN sees GDP growth at 2.5 percent per year by the end of the 5-year mandate. Sees inflation at 2.5 percent in 2015.

* Says to cut taxes for households and increase welfare benefits. Says to be compensated by savings from fighting social security fraud and tax evasion, changing EU policy, new migration policy, administrative reform.

* Sees the public deficit at 4.5 percent of GDP in 2018, down to 1.3 percent in 2022. Says debt to be cut to 89 percent of GDP by 2022.

LOWER TAXES, BETTER WELFARE

* A 10 percent cut to income tax on three lowest revenue bands.

* Cut payroll tax for very small and medium-sized businesses and lower the corporate tax rate for SMEs.

* Lower the retirement age to 60 from the current 62, increase aid to the poorest of the elderly. Give child benefits to all without conditions. Cut by 5 percent the regulated price of gas and electricity.

* Allow each parent to give each of their children 100,000 euros tax-free every five years.

* Keep the working week to 35 hours, make overtime tax-free.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Alexander Smith and Louise Heavens

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