Macron forced to beg for 'compromise' after poll defeat
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Ms Le Pen slammed the Elysées’ decision to end the measures put in place during the pandemic to help the French people with the financial struggles brought by COVID-19.
Speaking on France’s BFMTV on Sunday, the President’s far-right rival reacted to a statement by Gabriel Attal, Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, the day before.
Mr Attal said in Le Parisien on Saturday: “We have gone from whatever it costs to how much it costs.”
Ms Le Pen said: “Emmanuel Macron bought his election with the ‘whatever it costs’ and today he says ‘Now that I’m elected, not anymore, we’re going to end it’.”
Citing inflation as a key concern for French voters struggling to make ends meet, she said: “Mr Attal is here to tell the French that the measures to help purchasing power have come to an end.”
Mr Attal, who was government spokesman for two years before entering his current post, said the French “must not forbid ourselves from spending” but we must “ask ourselves the necessary questions before committing to major expenditure”.
According to Ms Le Pen, household energy expenses in the coming winter should be tackled ahead with “structural” measures instead of the government’s “temporary” rebate of 18 cents at the pump.
She is proposing, among other measures, to impose a zero percent VAT “on a basket of 100 basic products” — financed by a three percent tax “on share buybacks” — or the reduction of VAT from 20 percent to 5.5 percent on “fuel, oil and electricity”.
Her accusations about how Mr Macron secured a second term in office come amid enormous pressure on the leader over allegations of his past support for online transport giant Uber while he was economy minister from 2014 to 2016.
Investigations by a consortium of media claimed Mr Macron held several undeclared meetings with Uber executives during his term in the ministry.
According to the reports, which took shape through a series of leaked documents and text messages as well as witness accounts, a “secret deal” entailed the French President promising to help Uber work around legislation introduced in 2014, which sought to regulate the then-new taxi-hailing services.
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Alexis Corbière, of the hard-left opposition France Unbowed party, has called for a parliamentary enquiry into the leaks.
He told national Public Senat television: “It’s very serious the idea that with this secret pact Mr Macron de-regulated the regulation of the taxi industry.”
“What lessons should be drawn?”
So did Pierre Dharreville of the Communist Party (PCF).
PCF leader Fabien Roussel described the allegations as “damning revelations about the active role played by Emmanuel Macron, then minister, to facilitate the development of Uber in France”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Against all our rules, all our social rights and against workers’ rights.”
Mathilde Panot, also from France Unbowed, condemned on Twitter what she described as the “pillage of the country” during Macron’s time as minister under President François Hollande.
She described the 44-year-old as a “lobbyist” for a “US multinational aiming to permanently deregulate labour law”.
Jordan Bardella, president of Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party, tweeted that the Uber files showed “a common thread” in Mr Macorn’s trajectory – “to serve private interests, often foreign, before national interests”.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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