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Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-01-26

Seeking to build momentum against struggling incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, French Socialist presidential contender Francois Hollande is set to unveil his 60 proposals Thursday for an ailing France.

France’s Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande is set on Thursday to unveil a platform of 60 policy proposals that would come with a 20-billion-euro price tag if enacted over the course of a first term in office.

In doing so, Hollande is hoping to capitalise on polls that show him besting centre-right incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, who sent the press spinning earlier in the week by telling a small group of reporters that “for the first time in my life I am faced with the possibility that my career is coming to an end”. Sarkozy has not yet officially declared his candidacy for re-election.

Hollande’s programme -- which will include sweeping fiscal reforms, initiatives to spur small business growth, and education and youth employment measures -- is also intended to reassure both Socialist Party faithfuls and more centrist voters concerned about France’s fragile economy.

One of the most touted proposals in the 40-page programme, leaked to certain French press outlets before its official release on Thursday, is the elimination of 29 billion euros in tax breaks – money that would in turn be paid back to individuals and businesses. Hollande has also said he would reform the tax code so that individuals with annual earnings of 150,000 euros or more would have an income tax rate of 45%. Banks would face a 15% tax increase on their profits.

In the wake of austerity measures unveiled in November, Hollande has scaled back the programme in hopes of appealing to disillusioned right-leaning voters who have soured on Sarkozy but are more fiscally conservative than French Socialists. Consequently, the candidate’s job creation initiatives for young employment seekers, teachers, and police -- to name but a few -- are less ambitious than those in the official Socialist Party platform drafted last spring.

Among reforms concerning social issues, two of the most high-profile are proposals to legalise gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

Date created : 2012-01-26


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