Archive for the ‘French elections’ category

FULL Measure: June 4, 2017 – No Immigrants

June 5, 2017

FULL Measure: June 4, 2017 – No Immigrants via YouTube, June 5, 2017

 

France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists

May 26, 2017

France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, May 26, 2017

“Today, Muslims of France are poorly treated … Tomorrow, a new structure will make it possible to relaunch the work sites of the Muslim religion in France: the construction and the improvement of worthy places of worship will take place where their presence is necessary, and the training of imams of France will be organized.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them. Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is.

A deliberate side-effect of Macron’s policies will be population change. Macron wants Islam to have more room in France. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration.

The French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood published an official communiqué, saying: “Muslims think that the new President of the Republic will allow the reconciliation of France with itself and will allow us to go farther, together.”

Emmanuel Macron — whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive — was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country.

The reality, however, is quite different.

His victory was actually not “decisive”. Although he received a high percentage of the votes cast (66%), the number of voters who cast a blank ballot or decided to abstain was the highest ever in a French presidential election.

Although his opponent, Marine Le Pen, tried to dissociate herself from the anti-Semitism of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, she was treated as a walking horror by almost all politicians and journalists during the entire campaign. That she nevertheless drew 34% of the votes was a sign of the depth of the anger and frustration that has been engulfing the French people. More than half of those who chose Macron were apparently voting against Marine Le Pen, rather than for Macron.

Macron, who won by default, suffers from a deep lack of legitimacy. He was elected because he was the last man standing, and because the moderate right’s candidate, François Fillon, was sabotaged by a demolition operation carried out by the media and by a political use of justice. Significantly, the legal prosecution of Fillon stopped immediately after he was defeated.

Macron is not a centrist: he was discreetly supported throughout the campaign by most of the Socialist Party’s leaders and by the outgoing Socialist President, François Hollande. The day after the election, during a V-E Day ceremony, Hollande could not hide his joy. A few days later, on May 14, when he handed the office of the president over to Macron, Hollande said that what was happening was not an “alternative” but a “continuity”. All Macron’s team-members were socialists or leftists. Macron’s leading political strategist, Ismael Emelien, had worked for the campaign that led to the election of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Macron’s entire program is socialist. Proposals for additional public expenditures abound. “Climate change” is defined as “the key issue for the future of the world”. The proposed changes to the Labor Code and the tax system are largely cosmetic and seem intended more to give an illusion of change than to bring about real change. While Macron does not reject a market economy, he thinks that it must be placed at the service of “social justice”, and that the government’s role is to “guide”, to “protect”, “to help” — not to guarantee freedom to choose. Significantly, the economists who participated in the elaboration of Macron’s program are those who had drawn up Hollande’s economic program in 2012.

Even if he is young, Macron is not a newcomer to politics and does not embody renewal. He not only worked with Hollande for five years, but those who shaped his political ascent have long careers behind them: Jacques Attali was President François Mitterand’s adviser in the 1980s ; Alain Minc worked with all French Presidents since Valery Giscard d’Estaing was elected in 1974, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet was the cabinet director for Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the late 1990s. Just after the election, three documentaries were broadcast on French television explaining in detail how Macron’s campaign was organized. Macron is the pure product of what analysts described as the “French nomenklatura” — an arrogant élite, composed of senior officials, political power-holders and the businessmen working in close collaboration with them.

Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them.

During the years he spent at Hollande’s side, Macron helped various French businessmen. They thanked him by massively contributing to his campaign. It would be surprising if they do not expect a “return on investment”. The operation that allowed Macron’s election could be described in business language as a takeover. Almost all French private media outlets belong to those who supported Macron and were part of the takeover.

Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is. Their goal is to create a large, single, center-left, technocratic political party that will crush the old political parties and that will be installed in a position of hegemony. The party’s slogan, “En Marche!” (“On the Move!”), was established to go forward in that direction; the old political parties have been almost destroyed. The official Socialist Party is dying. The main center-right party, The Republicans, is in disarray. One of its leaders, Edouard Philippe, was appointed Macron’s Prime Minister. Another, Bruno Le Maire, is now Finance and Economy minister: he will have to apply quite a different policy from those defined by his original party. The rightist National Front and the radical left will be treated as receptacles of anger: everything will be done so that they stay marginalized.

Another goal is to entrust ever more power to the technocratic unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic institutions of the European Union: it is a goal Emmanuel Macron never stopped emphasizing. On May 7, as soon as the election result was known, the leaders of the European Union showed their enthusiasm. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke of “a signal of hope for Europe”. On May 15, immediately after the inauguration, Macron went to Berlin, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said that he hoped for a rapid “strengthening of the Union”. Macron says he wants the creation of an EU Ministry of Finance, whose decisions would have binding force for all member states.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat in Berlin on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

A deliberate side-effect of Macron’s policies will be population change. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration. On September 6, 2015, he stated that “immigration is an opportunity for all of us”. On February 12, 2017, he said, “I will propose to the Algerian government the creation of a Franco-Algerian Bureau of Youth, to encourage mobility between the two shores of the Mediterranean”. A few weeks later, he declared that “the duty of Europe is to offer asylum to all those who seek its protection” and that “France must take its fair share of refugees”.

Almost all refugees arriving in France are Muslims. France already has the greatest percentage of Muslims in Europe. Macron wants Islam to have more room in France. His position concerning other religions is not known. His position on Islam is clear:

“Today, Muslims of France are poorly treated … Tomorrow, a new structure will make it possible to relaunch the work sites of the Muslim religion in France: the construction and the improvement of worthy places of worship will take place where their presence is necessary, and the training of imams of France will be organized.”

The French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood congratulated Macron on on his victory. It published an official communiqué saying: “Muslims think that the new President of the Republic will allow the reconciliation of France with itself and will allow us to go farther, together.”

Macron’s prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and favored their installation in the city of which he is the mayor, Le Havre. Richard Ferrand — a Socialist MP, the secretary-general of En Marche! since its inception, and now Minister for the Cohesion of Territories — has been financially contributing to the anti-Israel BDS movement and to “pro-Palestinian” organizations for years. Gerard Collomb, the Socialist Mayor of Lyon, and now Interior Minister, financed the French Institute of Muslim Civilization that will open its doors in December 2017.

In a recent article, Yves Mamou noted that Macron is not “an open promoter of Islamism in France” and could be defined as a “useful idiot.”

In another recent article, Bruce Bawer wondered how the French could have chosen Emmanuel Macron. His answer was that “the mainstream media have played a role”. Evidently, also, “some people do not want to know the truth,” even when the truth is in front of their eyes.

“Some people are accustomed to the idea that there are people above them in the hierarchy whose job is to think about, and take care of the big things while they, the citizens, the mice, take care of their own little lives”.

A majority of the French did not choose Macron but apparently accept that there are people above them. Those who do not accept this fact so easily are many, but in minority, and they are likely to become a smaller minority. Macron is counting on their resignation. It is not certain, however, that the millions of people who voted for Marine Le Pen, despite her extremely problematic closeness to Russia and the harsh campaign against her, or those who voted for the leftist candidates, will so easily give up. It is also not certain — thanks to willful blindness and appeasement — that Islamists will mellow, or that jihadist attacks will stop.

Macron said he was “dismayed” over Manchester Arena terror attack. He added that he was “filled with dread”. He did not express the necessity of confronting the danger. The French have every reason to be nervous.

The status quo survives in France, but in ruins

April 25, 2017

The status quo survives in France, but in ruins, The Washington TimesWesley Pruden, April 24, 2017

Marine Le Pen (Associated Press)

Madame Le Pen will make a lot of these people very uncomfortable over the next fortnight, if in the end she cannot shake her father’s rough reputation written in a presidential campaign before hers. But the deplorables of France, like the deplorables in America, are not going away. Other seasons will produce other candidates. Things must change to stay the same.

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The French easily embrace contradiction and chaos. It’s what makes their politics work: “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” and they said it first: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The Sunday national election in France proved it again.

The two established political parties finished far out of the money, and Immanuel Macron, the new front-runner, is a banker who is the preferred candidate of the current Socialist president, Francois Hollande, who is so unpopular that he was the first president not to stand for re-election since World War II. He was so unpopular, in fact, that he didn’t publicly endorse M. Macron lest it be the kiss of death.

M. Macron polled 24 percent of the vote in the first round, barely 2 percent more than Marine Le Pen, the most charismatic candidate but who is counted out in the May 7 run-off because she is thought to be too far to the right of everybody else. The only left-wing candidate thought to have a chance to make the run-off was Jean-Luc Melenchon, who wanted to lead France out of the European Union and NATO and join Cuba and Venezuela and Cuba in something called the “Bolivarian Alliance.” In addition to chaotic, French politics can be ideologically nuts.

Everybody counts Marine Le Pen out, and conventional wisdom is often but not always wrong. The public-opinion polls were wrong in predicting the outcome of the referendum of the British vote to leave the European Union, and of course spectacularly, dramatically, comically, farcically, tragically (pick your adjective) and famously wrong in crowning Hillary Clinton the first woman as president of the United States.

The closest thing to a “normal,” i.e., conventional, candidate was Francois Fillon, a former prime minister who posed as a disciple of Maggie Thatcher and who was nevertheless regarded by many of the elites as respectable enough. But there were skeletons in his closet and he couldn’t keep the closet door shut. Scandal followed scandal. There’s a current investigation now in the juiciest of these, his paying of more than $1 million in government money to his wife and others in his family who were hired as “parliamentary assistants.” He didn’t even have to teach them to type.

In the end, he emerged as the status-quo candidate of an electorate yearning for someone to upset the status quo. He’s young, energetic and attractive, and naturally compared to the icon of charisma, John F. Kennedy. JFK was a long time ago, but political writers on both sides of the Atlantic are fond of cliches.

M. Macron goes into the run-off with Marine Le Pen all but staggering under great expectations and good wishes of “respectable” institutions and individuals who are terrified of Madame Le Pen and what would be the “deplorables” of Hillaryworld. Nice people don’t let nice people vote for candidates who aren’t very nice, neither here nor there. Lightning of a rare and serious kind would have to strike and lightning in France is not like the lightning of what the French, with a sneer, call “the Anglo-Saxons.” In the French vernacular, everyone else, like it or not, are “Anglo-Saxons.”

But the French world, like the world of everyone else, has been turned upside down, and making sense of elections is difficult. The usual beliefs and values of ordinary Frenchmen — the certainty that French culture, the verities of the permanently true, the very ideal of French citizenship — have been called into question. One inquirer into the nooks and shadows of the French election campaign, Charlie Cook of City Journal, writes that ordinary Frenchmen he encountered were reluctant to talk about politics lest they fall into the “many trapdoors of political conversation,” especially voters of the National Front.

That would be the party of Marine Le Pen, who has made talking about the forbidden in polite parlors possible for the brave and daring. She campaigns boldly in defense of borders and national identity, opposes the mass migration that is strangling French identity, and national sovereignty and the transfer the authority of national governments to international bodies.

These are the values and considerations that the elites, in France as in Britain and the United States, don’t want to talk about and don’t want anyone else to talk about. Silence won’t make them go away, but the wealthy and the well-connected can still live lives oblivious to things unpleasant.

Madame Le Pen will make a lot of these people very uncomfortable over the next fortnight, if in the end she cannot shake her father’s rough reputation written in a presidential campaign before hers. But the deplorables of France, like the deplorables in America, are not going away. Other seasons will produce other candidates. Things must change to stay the same.

France: A Guide to the Presidential Elections

April 22, 2017

France: A Guide to the Presidential Elections, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, April 22, 2017

“What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviors that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion.” — Emmanuel Macron

“Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.” — Marine Le Pen

“It [France] is one nation that has a right to choose who can join it and a right that foreigners accept its rules and customs. — François Fillon

Jean-Luc Mélenchon has called for a massive increase in public spending, a 90% tax on anyone earning more than €400,000 ($425,000) a year, and an across-the-board increase in the minimum wage by 16% to €1,326 ($1,400) net a month, based on a 35-hour work week.

Benoît Hamon has promised to establish a universal basic income: he wants to pay every French citizen over 18, regardless of whether or not they are employed, a government-guaranteed monthly income of €750 ($800). The annual cost to taxpayers would be €400 billion ($430 billion). By comparison, France’s 2017 defense budget is €32.7 billion ($40 billion).

Voters in France will go to the polls on April 23 to choose the country’s next president in a two-step process. The top two winners in the first round will compete in a run-off on May 7.

The election is being closely followed in France and elsewhere as an indicator of popular discontent with mainstream parties and the European Union, as well as with multiculturalism and continued mass migration from the Muslim world.

If the election were held today, independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who has never held elected office, would become the next president of France, according to most opinion polls.

An Ifop-Fiducial poll released on April 21 showed that Macron would win the first round with 24.5% of the votes, followed by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, with 22.5%. Conservative François Fillon is third (19.5%), followed by Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon (18.5%) and radical Socialist Benoît Hamon (7%).

If the poll numbers are accurate, the two established parties, the Socialist Party and the center-right Republicans, would, for the first time, be eliminated in the first round.

In the second round, Macron, a pro-EU, pro-Islam globalist, would defeat Le Pen, an anti-EU, anti-Islam French nationalist, by a wide margin (61% to 39%), according to the poll.

Nevertheless, most polls show that the race is tightening, and that two candidates who up until recently were considered also-rans — Fillon, who has been mired in a corruption scandal, and Mélenchon, who has performed well in recent presidential debates — are narrowing the lead that Macron and Le Pen have over them.

An Elabe poll for BMFTV and L’Express released on April 21 showed Macron at 24%, Le Pen at 21.5%, Fillon at 20% and Mélenchon at 19.5%.

The numbers indicate that neither Macron nor Le Pen can be absolutely certain they will proceed to the May 7 runoff. It remains to be seen if the April 20 jihadist attack on three policemen in Paris will bolster support for either Fillon or Le Pen, both of whom have pledged to crack down on radical Islam, and both of whom are competing for many of the same voters. Adding to the uncertainty: Some 40% of French voters remain undecided.

Following are the main policy positions of the top five candidates:

Emmanuel Macron

Macron, 39, a former investment banker, was an adviser to incumbent Socialist President François Hollande. If elected, he would be France’s youngest president. A long-time member of the Socialist Party, Macron served in Hollande’s cabinet for two years as economy minister until August 2016, when he resigned to launch his own political movement, En Marche! (On the move!).

Macron, whose core base of support consists of young, urban progressives, has been called the “French Obama.” He insists that he is neither left nor right and has tried to position himself in the political center, between the Socialists and the conservatives — and as an alternative to Le Pen’s populism.

Macron is business friendly and has called for cutting corporate taxes and for investing in infrastructure. He sparked outrage in February when he described France’s colonial legacy in Algeria as a “crime against humanity.”

His meteoric rise has been propelled by a scandal which has damaged the standing of Republican candidate François Fillon, and because the Socialists fielded Benoît Hamon, an unpopular candidate.

Macron’s policy positions (platform here) include:

  • European Federalism: Macron has repeatedly called for a stronger European Union. At a January 14 political rally in Lille, he said: “We are Europe, we are Brussels, we wanted it and we need it. We need Europe because Europe makes us bigger, because Europe makes us stronger.”
  • Immigration: Macron has repeatedly praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy, which has allowed more than two million mostly Muslim migrants into Germany since January 2015.

In a January 1, 2017 interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Macron accused critics of Merkel’s open-door migration policy of “disgraceful oversimplification.” He said: “Merkel and German society as a whole exemplified our common European values. They saved our collective dignity by accepting, accommodating and educating distressed refugees.”

In a February 4 rally in Lyon, Macron mocked U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall with Mexico: “I do not want to build a wall. I can assure you there is no wall in my program. Can you remember the Maginot Line?” he said, referring to a failed row of fortifications that France built in the 1930s to deter an invasion by Germany.

  • Islamic Terrorism: Macron has said he believes the solution to jihadist terrorism is more European federalism: “Terrorism wants to destroy Europe. We must quickly create a sovereign Europe that is capable of protecting us against external dangers in order to better ensure internal security. We also need to overcome national unwillingness and create a common European intelligence system that will allow the effective hunting of criminals and terrorists.”
  • Islam: Macron has said he believes that French security policy has unfairly targeted Muslims and that “secularism should not be brandished to as a weapon to fight Islam.” At an October 2016 rally in Montpellier, he rejected President Hollande’s assertion that “France has a problem with Islam.” Instead, Macron said: “No religion is a problem in France today. If the state should be neutral, which is at the heart of secularism, we have a duty to let everybody practice their religion with dignity.” He also insisted that the Islamic State is not Islamic: “What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviors that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion.”

Marine Le Pen

Le Pen, 48, a former lawyer and the youngest daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front party, has campaigned on a nationalist platform. She has called for a referendum on pulling France out of the European Union, abandoning the euro single currency, halting immigration and restore controls at French borders.

Le Pen, who has been called the “French Trump,” has vowed to fight radical Islam, close extremist mosques and forcibly deport illegal immigrants.

On March 2, the European Parliament voted to lift Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution for tweeting images of Islamic State violence. Under French law, publishing violent images can be punished by up to three years in prison and a fine of €75,000 euros ($79,000). Le Pen posted the images in response to a journalist who compared her party’s anti-immigration stance to the Islamic State. She denounced the legal proceedings against her as political interference in the campaign and called for a moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period has passed.

Le Pen is also under investigation for allegedly misusing EU funds to pay for party staff, including a personal bodyguard. She has denied any wrongdoing and said the investigation was aimed at undermining her campaign. “The French can tell the difference between genuine scandals and political dirty tricks,” she said.

Le Pen’s policy positions (platform here) include:

  • European Federalism: “Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security…. That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union…”
  • Immigration: Le Pen has said that she wants to cut immigration to no more than 10,000 people a year. She has also called on migrants to adapt to French culture: “Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.”
  • Islamic Terrorism: Le Pen has repeatedly vowed to crack down on Islamic terrorism. On February 5, she said: “In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.” After the April 20 jihadist attack in Paris, she reiterated: “We must tackle the root of the evil. It is Islamist fundamentalism, the ideology that their terrorists are harnessing.”
  • Islam: Le Pen has vowed to restrict the practice of Islam in the public square. She wants to ban all visible religious symbols worn in public, including Muslim headscarves and Jewish skullcaps. She has compared Muslims praying in the streets to Nazi occupation: “For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it is about occupation, then we could also talk about it [Muslim prayers in the streets], because that is occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It is an occupation. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents.”

François Fillon

Fillon, 63, a former Prime Minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy and now the Republican candidate for France’s 2017 presidential election, has pledged to defend traditional French values and identity. “This country is the daughter of Christianity, as well as the Enlightenment,” Fillon has said. “I will put the family back at the heart of all public policy.”

Fillon, who has been called the “French Thatcher” for his conservative policies, wants to end France’s 35-hour work week, cut public spending by €100 billion ($107 billion), shrink the size of government by cutting 500,000 civil service positions, abolish a wealth tax and reduce immigration. He also wants to invest heavily in national security.

Fillon had been favored to win this race until he became the subject of a criminal investigation over allegations that he used government money to pay his wife and children more than €1 million ($1.1 million) for jobs they never did. He faces charges of embezzlement.

Fillon’s policy positions (platform here) include:

  • European Federalism: Fillon has said that he is not in favor of more European integration. In an essay for Le Monde, he wrote: “Let’s put aside the dream of a federal Europe. It is urgent to re-establish a more political functioning, so Europe can focus its action on well-defined strategic priorities.”
  • Immigration: Fillon has called for quotas limiting immigration based on the capacity to integrate. At a rally in Nice on January 11, he said: “France is generous, but it is not a mosaic and a territory without limits. It is one nation that has a right to choose who can join it and a right that foreigners accept its rules and customs. We have six million unemployed and nearly nine million poor people. Immigration must be firmly controlled and reduced to a strict minimum.”
  • Islam: Fillon has vowed to exert “strict administrative control” over Islam in France. He has also described radical Islam as a “totalitarianism like the Nazis.” After the April 20 jihadist attacks, Fillon repeated his pledge to crack down on radical Islam. “Any movement claiming Salafism and the Muslim Brotherhood will be dissolved,” he said.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Mélenchon, 65, is head of the newly-established La France Insoumise (“Unsubmissive France”), a political movement supported by the Left Party and the French Communist Party. Mélenchon, who has been called the “French Bernie Sanders,” has campaigned on an anti-capitalist, anti-globalization platform and vowed to put an end to “economic liberalism.” He has called for a massive increase in public spending, a 90% tax on anyone earning more than €400,000 ($425,000) a year, and an across-the-board increase in the minimum wage by 16% to €1,326 ($1,400) net a month, based on a 35-hour work week.

Mélenchon’s policy positions (platform here) include:

  • European Federalism: Mélenchon has pledged to redefine France’s future relationship with the European Union. He has promised to negotiate a “democratic reconstruction” of European treaties, and to withdraw from the EU if it fails to meet his demands. “Europe, we’ll change it or leave it,” he said during an interview with France 2 television on April 7. He has also questioned France’s continued use of the euro single currency.
  • Immigration: Mélenchon is opposed to immigration quotas. He called for undocumented workers to be legalized. He has called for re-establishing a ten-year residence permit for foreigners, and for all children born in France to obtain automatic citizenship.

Benoît Hamon

Hamon, 49, the Socialist Party nominee, was a former education minister under President Hollande but quit the government in protest of its pro-market policies. Although he defeated former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a party heavyweight, in the primary run-off on January 29 by a margin of 58% to 42%, he is now polling last among the top five candidates.

Hamon has promised to establish a universal basic income: he wants to pay every French citizen over 18, regardless of whether or not they are employed, a government-guaranteed monthly income of €750 ($800). The annual cost to taxpayers would be €400 billion ($430 billion). By comparison, France’s 2017 defense budget is €32.7 billion ($40 billion).

Hamon, who has been called the “French Jeremy Corbyn,” in reference to the leader of the British Labour Party, also wants reduce the French work week from 35 to 32 hours and make it more difficult for companies to fire people. He wants to legalize cannabis and impose a tax on robots and computers; the tax would apply to any technology that takes away jobs from humans.

Hamon’s policy positions (platform here) include:

  • European Federalism: Hamon favors further European integration, especially on social issues. He has also called for “a process of social convergence with a national minimum wage set at 60% of each country’s average wage.” He has also called for the reformation of eurozone governance. “Only a complete revision of the European treaties could give the eurozone an institutional framework capable of correcting the founding mistakes of the Economic and Monetary Union,” he wrote in a policy paper.
  • Immigration: Hamon has said that France does not have an immigration problem. In an interview with Le Parisien, he said: “Immigrants now occupy low-skilled jobs for which there is little competition with French workers. I think our country does not have an immigration problem.” Hamon favors “a more equitable” distribution of asylum seekers in Europe and believes that France can accommodate more. He wants to allow migrants to obtain work permits after three months of being present in France. He has called for doubling the number of asylum seeker reception centers.
  • Islam: Hamon has come under fire for appearing to turn a blind eye to Islamic customs. In December 2016, after France 2 broadcast undercover television footage of daily life in Sevran, a heavily Islamized suburb of Paris, Hamon defended the Muslim practice of prohibiting women from entering bars and cafés. “Historically, there were never women in the coffee shops,” he said. He added that “the French Republic is to blame for the fact that there are social ghettos where today public spaces can be off limits to women.”