What Sarkozy and Royal stand for

22nd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 22, 2007 (AFP) - Here are the key proposals of the rightwing Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialist Segolene Royal, who on Sunday made it through to the second round of France's presidential election on May 6.

PARIS, April 22, 2007 (AFP) - Here are the key proposals of the rightwing Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialist Segolene Royal, who on Sunday made it through to the second round of France's presidential election on May 6.


Both candidates are under pressure to fight unemployment -- at 8.4 percent among the highest in Europe -- and boost low incomes.

Sarkozy's flagship measure is to scrap payroll tax and social charges on overtime pay, so as to circumvent the 35-hour working week that was brought in by a Socialist government. People who turn down work could lose their unemployment benefits under his plans.

Royal proposes lifting the minimum monthly wage from 1,250 euros to 1,500 euros (1,900 dollars). She would create 500,000 state-backed "stepping stone" jobs for youths, seniors and long-term unemployed.

Both claim their measures would have a knock-on effect on job creation by boosting consumer spending.


Sarkozy would set a ceiling of 50 percent on personal taxation and hopes in the long term to cut overall tax by four percentage points of gross domestic product. He would replace only one in two retirees from the civil service -- whose five million employees account for almost half the state budget.

Royal would cancel tax breaks for the highest earners and tax companies that pay share dividends instead of investing profits. On state spending, her motto is "every euro spent must be a euro well spent."


Both Sarkozy and Royal rule out a blanket amnesty for France's estimated 200,000 to 400,000 illegal immigrants and pledge to boost development aid.

Sarkozy would create a ministry for immigration and national identity to implement skills-based selection for legal migrants, tougher rules of entry for their families and deportation for illegals.

Royal would create a multiple-entry visa for migrant workers and restore the right -- scrapped under Sarkozy -- for illegals to acquire French citizenship after 10 years.


Royal promises major drives to reimplant public services in the poor, high-immigration suburbs across the country hit by widescale riots in 2005.

She wants to create a civic national service for school-leavers, to replace the obligatory military service abolished 10 years ago.

On crime, Royal would reintroduce community policing, introduce military-style boot camps for young offenders and ban prison sentences for minors -- which Sarkozy wants to extend.

Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant father, is alone in calling for US-style affirmative action to tackle discrimination against ethnic minorities.


Sarkozy wants a scaled-down mini-treaty, ratified by European parliaments, to replace the draft European constitution rejected by French voters in 2005.

Royal wants to call a new referendum after amending the existing treaty to add a stronger social component.

Royal says the European Central Bank should broaden its focus to boosting growth and jobs, and both she and Sarkozy say the bank should do more to drive down the euro, currently hovering around record levels against the dollar.


Royal calls for the advent of a "Sixth Republic," overhauling government institutions to make them more accountable to the public.

She would have citizen's juries assess the work of elected officials from the president down, and would end the government's right to push laws through parliament by decree.

Sarkozy wants to keep the current institutions, but make the president more accountable to a stronger parliament, and limit the number of ministers to 15.


The two candidates have pledged to put the environment at the centre of their presidency.

Royal wants to boost the share of renewable energies and cut back on nuclear power, phase out VAT on eco-friendly industries and stop field trials of genetically-modified crops.

Sarkozy wants to slash VAT on green products and services and backs the creation of a world environment agency.

Sarkozy wants to maintain nuclear power at its current level.


Royal says she will legalise gay marriage and adoption. Sarkozy is against this, supporting the current system of civil unions.

Royal -- whose party wants to legalise medical euthanasia -- has called for a national debate on the question. Sarkozy says the current law, which allows doctors to stop treating terminally-ill patients, goes far enough.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Presidential election

0 Comments To This Article