What does Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s economic program entail?

Moving house, lowering the retirement age, increasing the minimum wage… If the official program of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, guest of BFM Business tonight, has not yet been announced, the main features of the economic measures taken by the candidate have already been known.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the first guest of the show make France succeed this Thursday the new appointment dedicated to the presidential elections of BFM Business. The official program of the candidate of La France Insoumise, a movement he founded in 2016, will not be revealed until November 18.

But his 2017 program, updated in 2020, the various preliminary notebooks of his new program and his statements in the media, give an overview of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s economic proposals. Moving house, lowering the retirement age, raising the minimum wage… BFM Business takes stock.

1. Get out nuclear

While Emmanuel Macron is betting on nuclear power and should announce the launch of three new EPR reactor sites in France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants to get out.

Four years ago, the candidate of La France Insoumise argued that the production of this energy had become “too dangerous”. In his recent communications, Jean-Luc Mélenchon also makes the exit from nuclear energy an ecological argument.

At a large meeting on October 17, the leader of La France Insoumise confirmed “when elected we will close all power plants”.

In a preliminary notebook of his new program, he confirms that to keep the outdated French nuclear reactors in operation, “it would be necessary to invest almost 100 billion euros, which would therefore be missing in renewable energy sources”, which are “cheaper”.

2. Back to privatizations

Jean-Luc Mélenchon intends to return to the privatization of various activities, in particular those of airports, of the Française des jeux but also of highways, according to the program of the Future in general of 2017, updated in 2020.

As for the renationalization of highways, this measure is also proposed by Marine Le Pen and Arnaud Montebourg, both declared presidential candidates in 2022.

“The highway companies are extorting us and have increased tolls by more than 20% since privatization while paying billions to shareholders,” a preliminary notebook reads. “We will be able to pass on these savings by undoing the price increases already implemented.”

3. The ECB’s purchase of debt

For Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “money exists for a better life, debts are not a problem”. The candidate plans to “require from the European Union that the European Central Bank buys up sovereign debt and converts it into perpetual debt at zero interest”.

The national debt has exploded as a result of the pandemic and its repayment is dividing political parties. Bruno Le Maire, the economy minister, estimates that it will take 20 years to repay the debt, but refuses any debt cancellation or repayment so that the state can repay thanks to the savings made possible by structuring reforms .

4. Move Essential Productions

This is one of the themes that nearly all candidates for the 2022 presidential election agree on: relocation. A trend accelerated by the crisis, which has revealed problems of industrial dependence on foreign countries. As part of the recovery plan, the government is also allocating one billion euros to finance projects for the relocation and digitization of companies.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is no exception, he wants to relocate essential productions.

“France must not depend on other states for its essential production: if a crisis breaks out, it is already too late to move production. It is of course essential to continue to exchange with other countries, but it is not inconceivable that we depend on it to feed us, to provide us with doliprane or cloth masks,” a preliminary document for the program reads.

5. Restore the right to full pension at the age of 60

The emblematic measure of the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, wants to lower the statutory retirement age, which is currently set at 62 years. But to leave at full throttle today, you have to wait at least 65 years.

The candidate of La France Insoumise wishes to reduce the statutory retirement age completely to 60 years.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also against the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise, which ultimately did not see the light of day. In addition to raising the retirement age, Mélenchon was against the points-based pension system.

6. Increase the Smic to 1400 euros net

The presidential candidate, who came in fourth place with 19.58% of the vote in 2017, proposes to raise the minimum wage to 1,400 euros net per month, or 142 euros more than the current Smic.

In France, the minimum wage underwent a revaluation at the end of September, rising to EUR 10.48 gross per hour, or EUR 1589.47 gross per month for full-time workers, or EUR 1258 net.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also a staunch defender of the allowed “maximum salary”, to narrow the gap from 1 to 20 between the lowest salary and the highest salary in the same company.

7. Reduce working time

As he has been hammering for several years, Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants to reduce working time. Initially, the candidate “really” wants to apply the 35-hour work week and move to 32 hours in heavy and night jobs, “before he starts generalizing,” specifies a preliminary document for his program.

A way to “work better” as employees are “calmer and more motivated”. A measure that also appears in the program of the communist candidate Fabien Roussel.

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