Centre-right presidential pick vows to make France EU’s top power

Les Republicains (LR) right-wing party's candidate for the 2022 presidential election Valerie Pecresse delivers a speech during a meeting
Les Republicains (LR) right-wing party's candidate for the 2022 presidential election Valerie Pecresse delivers a speech during a meeting following a closed-door session with party officials in Paris, on December 11th, 2021. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP
The French conservative party's candidate for next year's presidential election promised to make France Europe's strongest power and stop "uncontrolled immigration" in her first major campaign speech on Saturday.

Valerie Pecresse, a former chief of the Paris region, was elected as The Republicans’ first female presidential candidate on December 4th to challenge President Emmanuel Macron in April 2022.

The 54-year-old slammed Macron’s record and said she aimed to “renew France in five years and make it Europe’s foremost power in 10 years’ time”, pledging to be a “war leader each time France is threatened”.

Pecresse said she would “stop uncontrolled immigration, break the ghettoes and restore security” in France, which has suffered several terrorist attacks in recent years partly perpetrated by French citizens from ethnic minorities.

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She also set a hard stance against “statue topplers” and the “public prosecutors of our past” after racial justice protests inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement targeted memorials connected with France’s colonial history.

But Pecresse attacked far-right presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, referring to “extremism that feeds off our problems without wanting or being able to resolve them”.

READ ALSO: Zemmour rally near Paris marred as anti-racism activists attacked during protest

“A few weeks ago, they said we were buried, divided, lost. But we’re back, in battle order, for victory,” she added.

“My programme is radical because the situation demands it.”

Pecresse also pledged to loosen French labour laws, raise the retirement age to 65 and ease inheritance tax.

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Member comments

  1. So, a longer working week and a shorter retirement . I suppose that’s because she doesn’t want any more immigrant workers. Maybe she needs to re-think some of these policies.

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