France’s Hollande warns of fewer jobs if populists take power
European countries that vote populists into power will experience a fall in jobs, investment and exports as they pull out of the EU, French President Francois Hollande warned Monday.
Speaking at a summit in the southern Spanish city of Malaga with his counterpart Mariano Rajoy, Hollande said that nationalists not only threatened Europe but also “the interests of the nations they claim to represent.”
His comments come as France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands ride high in polls ahead of upcoming elections in their respective countries.
Hollande, who will not be standing again in the French elections in April and May, said there would be “fewer exports, fewer investment and therefore fewer jobs” if eurosceptic populists took power.
Pulling out of the EU, as Le Pen and Wilders advocate, would mean “the end of trade, fake sovereignty which would translate into fewer jobs, lower growth and fewer freedoms.”
The Spanish government also announced Monday that Hollande had invited Rajoy for a summit on March 6 in the city of Versailles near Paris, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni.
Merkel herself is running for re-election in September and faces strong competition from the hard-right populist party Alternative for Germany.
Without naming him, Hollande also criticised US President Donald Trump and his pledge to loosen up capital market regulations.
Trump argues that less regulation means fewer costs for companies and consumers.
He has for instance ordered a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform that aims to curb the actions of the finance sector that led to the 2008 recession.
“Crises don’t come from nowhere, they are due to various conducts, laxity, and the very deregulation that the United States wants to re-implement,” Hollande said.