Early indications are that establishment French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron will beat National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in the May 7 runoff election.
Here's what you need to know about the likely next French president:
From 2006 through 2009, Emmanuel Macron was a member of the Socialist party. In France, the two major political parties are the center-right Republican party and the center-left Socialist party; the current president of France, François Hollande, is a member of the Socialist party.
However, from 2009 to 2016, Macron did not associate himself with the Socialist party anymore, saying that he is an independent.
When he announced his bid for the presidency, Macron formed his own political movement called “En Marche!” In English, this translates as “Forward!” Macron has described this organization as being post-partisan, combining elements both of the left and the right.
Macron is hardcore pro European Union. He has even said that he wants to make some changes so that the EU can be made stronger.
He has said that security would “not be better served by closing national borders,” and that controls on migration should not be handled on a national level.
In addition, Macron has said that France’s security policies have unfairly targeted Muslims.
“No religion is a problem in France today,” Macron said during a rally in October 2016. “If the state should be neutral, which is at the heart of secularism, we have a duty to let everybody practice their religion with dignity.”
Macron, who is a former investment banker, has said he will make France more business friendly and lower corporate taxes.
Specifically, he has promised to lower the corporate tax rate from 33 percent to 25 percent. He also wants to keep the legal work week at 35 hours but leave negotiation of real work hours to companies, according to Reuters.
In addition, low-wage earners would not receive certain welfare benefits under Macron’s proposals.
According to Reuters, Macron wants to raise defense spending to two percent of GDP, up from the current figure of 1.8 percent. Also, he wants to build 15,000 new prisons and hire 10,000 new police officers.
In addition, he recently said that there should be international military intervention if there comes to be evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons.
“An international intervention is needed…My preference is that there should be an intervention under the auspices of the United Nations. A military intervention,” Macron said.
Overall, he is a mainstream warmongering global statist.
Eric Margolis writes:
Just who Macron really is remains a puzzle. He came from an academic background, worked for the mighty Rothschild banking empire, then as an economic advisor and minister to President Holland. At 39 years old, Macron is blandly attractive, youthful, and so far untainted by scandal except for the oddity of being married to his former schoolteacher two decades his senior.
Macron claims to be a middle way between old antagonists of left and right. He calls for gentle reforms and revitalization of the European Union. Women like him. What he stands for is unclear. His deep links to the Rothschild’s make many uncomfortable. To others, he’s too smooth and full of bromides