France’s Melenchon Says Left Alliance to Spend €200 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- France’s leftist alliance plans public spending of €200 billion ($214 billion) for its priorities over the next five years if it wins the snap election as it seeks to reverse President Emmanuel Macron’s labor and pension reforms and boost growth.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Jean-Luc Melenchon, whose far-left France Unbowed party is part of the coalition, brushed off any concerns about the extra spending, saying he expects the state to get revenue of €230 billion over the same period thanks to a “boost in activity.”

“Every election, the program of the left is equated to the country’s ruin,” he told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview. “Social spending creates well-being, which allows consumption, which produces jobs and tax revenue.”

Melenchon’s party, the Greens, the Socialists and the Communists put together a broad leftist alliance called the New Popular Front to take on the far-right National Rally of Marine Le Pen after Macron called a snap vote. Melenchon’s group is trailing Le Pen’s party in polls of voting intentions less than 10 days until the two-round legislative elections.

After unveiling a hastily put together manifesto, the coalition is due to present detailed figures on how it plans to finance its program at a news conference later on Friday.

The group has said it wants to reverse the government’s pension reform, reinstate the right to retire at 60, raise the minimum wage, and impose an extra tax on the profits of certain industrial firms, among other measures.

Valerie Rabault, a Socialist candidate and former budget recorder, said earlier this week she estimates the New Popular Front’s program would lead to new spending of €106 billion through 2027, when Macron’s mandate ends.

“The number one priority is purchasing power,” she told France 2 television on Friday.

She added that she would oppose Melenchon’s appointment as prime minister were the New Popular Front to become the biggest group in the National Assembly.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.