Four favorite: who is fighting for the presidency of France

Photo: Malte Christians/Global Look Press

France started the race for the presidency. The four most popular presidential candidate in the review of the RBC

Public opinion polls show that the French have already decided on the favorites. In the first round of the presidential elections scheduled for the end of April, will compete with the leader of “National front” marine Le Pen, the former Minister of the economy Emmanuel macron, former Prime Minister of France Francois Fillon and former Minister of education Benoit Amon. In the coming weekend from two candidates for the presidency of France will hold large-scale meetings with voters in Lyon — Le Pen and macron.

Of its intention to participate in elections was declared by five other candidates, but none of them, according to polls, will not be able to gain more than 10%. The first round of presidential elections in France scheduled for April 23. If in the first round none of the candidates receive a majority of votes, a second round of elections will be held on 7 may.

Marine Le Pen

The leader of the party “national front”, member of the European Parliament. In the presidential election in 2012 took the third place with almost 18% of the vote.

  • Party: national front

According to the survey of the French Institute of public opinion conducted from 30 January to 2 February, marine Le Pen is leading in the presidential race, for her ready to vote 24.5% of the French. However, in the second round Le Pen will give way and Fillon (41 vs 59%), and Macron (37 vs 63%).

  • The main provisions of election programs

In the economy, Le Pen is in favour of maintaining protectionist policies for granting most favored French producers. According to Le Pen, it is necessary to introduce a three percent import tax, the proceeds of which should go on increasing the minimum wage. The Le Pen called such measures “economic patriotism”.

The leader of “National front” also repeatedly stated the need to restore border controls on entry into France and limiting immigration. Le Pen intends to restrict access of migrant children to free education and to give them the “waiting period” during which they will not be free to visit the French school.

His full reform program in the form of “144 obligations” to the French people for the next five years, marine Le Pen plans to present at the conference in Lyon on 4 and 5 February.

  • Attitude to the European Union

Marine Le Pen speaks from the position of euroscepticism. She repeatedly noted the necessity of holding a referendum on membership of France in the European Union and called for the rejection of the use of the Euro. In her opinion, France lacks the monetary, legislative, territorial and fiscal sovereignty. In addition, Le Pen said that France should leave the Schengen area and NATO. “I don’t want NATO was a means for the United States, by which they impose on the French people what they do not want”, — she wrote in his Twitter.

  • The attitude to Russia

Le Pen has repeatedly talked about its readiness to recognize the Russian Crimea in case of victory in the elections. “After the referendum, which showed the consent of the people to join Russia, I also recognize the Crimea part of the Russian Federation. The affiliation of Crimea to Ukraine was merely an administrative issue of Soviet times, the Peninsula was never Ukrainian”, — she said.

Francois Fillon

The Prime Minister of France from 17 may 2007 to 15 may 2012.

  • Party: “Republicans”

According to the survey of the French Institute of public opinion conducted from 30 January to 2 February, françois Fillon is ready to vote 20% of the electorate.

  • The main provisions of election programs

Fillon supporter of reducing the tax burden on business and deregulation of the economy. He advocates the abolition of imposed Francois Hollande tax on the rich as for the French and the reduction of the profit tax of the enterprises to the European 22% (in France, it can now reach 38%). Fillon also plans to cut 500 thousand employees in the public sector and to reduce budget spending by €110 billion in 2017 promises to increase the working week from the current 35 to 39 hours, two percent increase of VAT (currently 20%) and to raise the retirement age to 65 years.

Former Prime Minister proposes to limit the entry of migrants to France by means of quotas and to pay great attention to the problems of internal security. To do this, he intends to create a “big” Ministry of internal Affairs, which will include the customs authorities, penitentiary institutions, police and gendarmerie.

  • Attitude to the European Union

Fillon has called for the reform of the European Union. He believes that Brexit is a direct consequence of the crisis, the EU, and proposes to limit the powers of Brussels. Opposed the EU membership of Georgia and Ukraine.

  • The attitude to Russia

Even as Prime Minister, Fillon advocated the need to consider interests of Moscow — for example, he was against the membership of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Leaving the office, Fillon is often visited Russia: in 2013 and 2015, he informally met with President Vladimir Putin, took part in St. Petersburg international economic forum and the Valdai club.

Fillon said that sanctions against Russia should be canceled, “as soon as possible” because they don’t have any impact on Russia’s actions in international politics, but only complicated relations with her and “ravaged the French and European farmers.” Fillon also noted that he has positive experience of cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin is dangerous in negotiations, but you can negotiate with him — I have done this many times. And he respects the agreements,” said Fillon.

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Emmanuel Macron

The economy Minister of France from 26 August 2014 to 30 August 2016.

  • Party: independent candidate movement “Forward!”

The Makron was a member of the Socialist party of France from 2006 to 2009. In April 2016 he simultaneously announced his intention to run for President and create his own political movement “Forward!”.

According to the survey of the French Institute of public opinion conducted from 30 January to 2 February, the Emmanuel Macron is ready to vote 20% of the French.

  • The main provisions of election programs

Political program of Macron recalls his career in the camp of the socialists, however, he argues that forms its own “third way” between right and left. He advocates reform of tax for the rich as the French, promising to turn it into a “tax on real income”. Macron believes that do not need to defend jobs and workers themselves, therefore, in favour of reducing taxes on health insurance and unemployment benefits, which are paid by the workers themselves, as well as an increase of the minimum wage. Believes that individual entrepreneurs and freelancers are entitled to unemployment benefits. It also intends to reduce the workweek for the elderly to 32 hours and promises to create 10 million new jobs in the police. Advocates for the autonomy of state institutions.

  • Attitude to the European Union

Macron believed that the French and Germans can rally around the European project, preserving the single market and the single currency, but says that the existing system will need to be reformed. In favour of maintaining the Schengen agreement. Believes that France in the framework of the agreement with Europe should continue to accept refugees.

  • The attitude to Russia

Advocates the development of dialogue with Russia. “France cannot allow the United States to dictate himself the direction of foreign policy. We must have permanent and independent dialogue with Russia,” said macron 12 November 2016. “We need to try to normalize relations with Russia, because Russia is a partner with which we have to discuss the Syrian issue,” he added. Macron also believes that it is necessary to continue the dialogue with Russia in the framework of the Minsk process and achieve an easing of sanctions.

Benoit Amon

The Minister of national education of France, from 2 April to 25 August 2014 in the government of Manuel Valls.

  • Party: socialist party

According to the survey of the French Institute of public opinion conducted from 30 January to 2 February, Benoit Amon is ready to vote 17% of the electorate.

  • The main provisions of election programs

Amon believes that the state institutions of France (Amon because of the high role of the President calls a “Republican monarchy”) obsolete, and therefore proposes to expand the powers of the Parliament. In his opinion, the President should be elected for a term of seven years without possibility of re-election and to report to Parliament.

During the election campaign Amon said about the need to introduce an unconditional income of €750 per month for all citizens of France in 2022, expressed the need for the introduction of a tax on the robots, which will pay the company, reducing the number of jobs due to automation. Also the candidate of the socialists is in favour of introducing a “humanitarian visa” for refugees and the release of more funds for their adaptation in society.

Among other provisions of his program — reduction of working hours, the struggle against all forms of discrimination, improvement of the ecological situation and the legalization of cannabis.

  • Attitude to the European Union

Amon appears as a supporter of further development of a United Europe. However, he notes that at the present moment the European Union is faced with certain contradictions caused by the increasing role of Brussels.

  • The attitude to Russia

Amon is critical of the international policy of Moscow. According to him, the policy towards Russia needs to be more decisive. Commenting on the position of the other of the left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, about Russia, Amon said: “I do not understand this complacency in relation to Vladimir Putin. From Russia, we are faced with aggressive imperialism, which must be treated with great firmness”.

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