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Villepin unveils manifesto ideas

The former prime minister wants to slash the number of ministers and of French regions and leave Nato, among other ideas

FORMER Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has unveiled a list of manifesto pledges if he becomes president, including leaving Nato, halving the number of regions and making it illegal not to vote.

Although he is not yet an official candidate for next year’s presidential elections, he has already been talking about his ideas. Villepin was Prime Minister under President Jacques Chirac and was a UMP member until forming his party République Solidaire last year.

He says France needs an “electric shock” to tackle the feeling of “depression and blockage” in the country and he wants to make French people more keenly aware of their responsibilities as citizens.

His ideas include:

• A guaranteed “citizen income” of e850 for French people (which compares to a maximum of €466 for the current RSA income support), which would be funded by “growth” and by higher income tax for the richest 3%.
• A “big citizen tax” combining income tax and the CGS and CRDS social charges, of up to 60% at the top bracket. This would be payable by everyone, including a “symbolic” contribution for the least well-off.
• A government limited to 10 ministers (compared to 31).
• Requiring large firms to have a quota of young people.
• Requiring French citizens to vote and do 12 month’s national civic service.
• Leaving Nato. Recent events in Libya have shown that Nato membership limits France’s independence, Villepin says.
• Reducing the French regions from 22 to 10, to create ones capable of having more influence in Europe and the world.

David Mendiboure - Service photo de Matignon

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