Marine Le Pen: Macron's France is a France that stops
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As France’s inflation keeps galloping amid the Ukraine-Russia war, French businesses are forced to close doors due to skyrocketing energy prices. To address the economic crisis, France announced in March an economic and resilience plan to protect companies from hikes in energy prices. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, consumer prices have increased by at least three percent every month since January – with no end in sight. French candidate Marine Le Pen hit out at Emmanuel Macron for looking the other way during the French presidential election. On a visit to a construction company, she told French media: “So, quite obviously, we’re going to see a massive price increase taking place.”
“And nobody wants to talk about it. In other words, there is a form of denial on the part of the government.”
“I’m surprised that the President of the Republic doesn’t mention this inflation and the measures he plans to take to deal with it.”
Ms Le Pen continued: “The presidential election, the life of the country, does not stop. Macron’s France is a France that will stop.”
Since March 2020, about 700,000 companies have benefited from state-guaranteed loans to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. And a new state-guaranteed loan will be in place until June to support companies amid a surge in energy prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Besides a tax cut, Marine Le Pen proposes a further extension of state-guaranteed loans.
French President Macron responded to her on France 2: “what we have decided with the government on electricity, gas and petrol is more effective than a tax cut”, adding that Le Pen’s tax cut would amount to “taking people for fools because it’s not really something that reduces prices.”
French economic minister promised a total of 22 billion euros in aid to offset the inflation and protect households’ purchasing power.
French President Macron also told France 2 that he would lower the costs of food products for farmers to prevent price hikes from affecting consumers. Another part of his inflation plan is a means-tested food voucher.
Marine Le Pen continued: “And tomorrow, I fear that the situation will get worse because during Covid, many companies took out loans guaranteed by the state.”
“These loans were postponed until after the presidential elections – a fairly traditional technique of our leaders.”
Ms Le Pen asked: “What is the government proposing in this area?”
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“Given what I have just told you, many companies will not be able to pay back the state-guaranteed loans that they are supposed to pay back by May.”
“It’s not because the election is taking place in ten days’ time that life in the country will stop, and the problems of companies will stop.”
“On the contrary, these problems will get worse. So, it is absolutely fundamental to be aware of this.”
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