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Saturday, June 03 2023

Macron unveils re-election manifesto

Macron calls for independent foreign policy, more balanced partnerships
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Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron presented his manifesto for the presidential elections to be held in April.

At a press conference, Macron laid out his reform plans that cover a broad range of sectors: the economy, culture, agriculture, defense, education, the workplace, gender equality, welfare, households, seniors and the country’s institutions, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We must make France a more independent nation within a strong Europe,” he said.

To achieve this goal, he said the government would have to invest 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in various high-growth sectors.

Macron’s goal for the next five years is “to develop 100 per cent French sectors” to wean the country off its dependence on imported energy and industrial goods.

He said that his aim would be to increase the share of renewable energy at the national grid level, build more nuclear reactors and promote investments by public institutions and private companies.

His government, he said, would aim to turn the country greener by ensuring broad access to affordable electric vehicles, including through leasing programs.

Over the next 10 years, Macron plans to invest 25 billion euros in research.

His public administration reform plans aim to improve social and labour welfare, he said.

He said that pensions reform will be one of his government’s priority projects if elected to a second term.

Macron also plans to raise the legal retirement age to 65 and to propose a minimum pension of 1,100 euros.

The first round of the 2022 French presidential election will be held on April 10 and if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held between the top two candidates on April 24.

Macron, who won the 2017 presidential election and whose first term lasts until May 13, announced on March 3 that he was seeking re-election to a second five-year term.

There are a total of 12 candidates in the fray, including Macron; Marine Le Pen, President of the National Rally party; and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

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