Tuesday, April 4, 2017

French presidential hopefuls clash over economy, Europe in marathon debate....(VIDEO)


All 11 candidates for the French presidency fought for the spotlight in a marathon debate Tuesday, setting out their visions for turning around a moribund economy and redefining France's place in Europe.

"I want to recover the optimism of the French," said 39-year-old centrist Emmanuel Macron, currently tipped to win in May, asserting that entrepreneurs and businesses are job creators. "We must invest to get the machine going again."

But far-right leader Marine Le Pen, 48, said the answer lies in "economic patriotism", vowing to fight "out-of-control globalisation" with her anti-EU agenda.

Former prime minister Francois Fillon, under pressure after being charged with misuse of public funds, said France's grinding 10 percent unemployment and massive debt combined to create an "explosive situation".

The 63-year-old conservative said Europe was "veering off course" and that France needs to get it back on track.

Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon, 65, who has been rising in the polls, came out slugging against big business, saying it should "pay back" its riches.


source:France24

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