Friday, February 16, 2007

France's Segolene Royal Manifesto.

In the upcoming French Presidential Elections, Ségolène Royal, the candidate of the Socialist Party announced her 100-point platform policy on Sunday, returning to traditional values and, in the same time, unveiling a strong emphasis to the left economic policy.

Villepinte north of Paris, in a two-hour speech to a cheering crowd of 10,000 socialist supporters and delegates, Mrs Royal pledged to increase pensions, to raise the minimum wage (the SMIC) from €1,250 to €1,500, a month. Every youth within six months of graduating from university will get a job or some special training. And she promised to build 120,000 low-rent homes a year.

Her "presidential pact" woved that delinquents youngsters could be placed in educational and military-style boots camp, which is a very controversed proposal. She promised some free tutoring for students that have great difficulties keeping up, and workshops for parents to train them how to educate their children. By reducing the number of students in class, Segolene, as a former Schools Minister, want to erase social exclusion in the suburbs. "I want for the children in these suburbs what I want for my own children," said Segolene.

One can see Mrs Royal has choosen some tough proposals from the conservative right wing mixed with far-left solutions, to raise is pact between discipline and progressive issues.

Under her presidency all young people could get access to a €10,000 (interest free) loan. Young women would get total free contraception. and she woved to raise up the benefits of the handicapped people. Finally, the participative debate, launched during the campaign, will increase and randomly choosen citizens' juries would survey the National Assembly and government policies. When some in the public said this participative debate is a demagogic debate which transfers the politician responsability to the french people.

When the crowd broke into chants of "Segolene, president !" She replied : "A pact of honour, a presidential pact that I propose to everyone, the most vulnerable and the strong, those who have been our supporters all along and those who have not, because France needs all its people."

A great part of her speech was dedicated to economic and social proposals on a upsetting new hard-left line. "The unfettered rein of financial profit is intolerable for the general interest," said Segolene. "You told me simple truths. You told me you wanted fewer income inequalities. You told me you wanted to tax capital more than labor. We will do that reform." Royal said she would tax companies in relation to what portion is paid to shareholder and to what share of their profits is reinvested in jobs and equipment. She also want to abolish the flexible work contract for small companies and convoke a national meeting in June on how to increase the wages. When, everybody knows in France that a left policy means certainly the increasing of taxes and fees.

And what's about Royal's foreign policy ? She has recently been accused of lacking competence in that matter, because of her so called "gaffes" abroad. Royal said that, as president, she would pledge for the European Central Bank to consider growth of employment and not just inflation. She will support a European Union which "protects its citizens". More : "I don't want a Europe that is just a free-trade area attached to NATO," Royal said. "Even less do I want a Europe where it's everyone against everyone and social and fiscal dumping replaces solidarity."
We have to break with "corrupt regimes" and we have to end ambiguous talks with allied countries, as Russia, whose "war crimes in Chechnya" would be clearly condemned. So Segolene seems to have forgotten that corruption is raising in France too, with the famous "Clearstream affair" which darkened french politicians in some european web of intrigue and occult money.

Now, the Segolene's Manifesto is released after a long time of a "listening phase" gathering citizen's proposals by the means of internet and meeting in real life and the real country. And Segolene is behind Sarkozy who surged ahead in the opinions polls. Finally, one could ask wether Segolene is a shooting star or a meteoritic rising president.

Demian West

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