France's allied left seeks lower retirement age, wealth tax on rich

Front Populaire alliance for early legislative elections

PARIS (Reuters) -France's leftwing parties want to lower the retirement age, link salaries to inflation and introduce a wealth tax for the rich, leaders of a newly agreed alliance that spans from the hard left to the Socialists and Greens said on Friday.

The parties set aside differences to strike a deal late on Thursday ahead of a parliamentary election that President Emmanuel Macron unexpectedly called for June 30 and July 7 after his centrist party suffered a bruising defeat in Sunday's European Parliament elections.

"Emmanuel Macron won't have a majority," Greens leader Marine Tondelier told a new conference.

"It's either the far right or us," she said, urging leftwing voters to back the new alliance, which gathers the Socialists, Greens, Communists, and hard-left Unbowed France (LFI) in an alliance dubbed the "Popular Front."

Opinion polls show that the leftist alliance is unlikely to win the election.

Tondelier said a top priority for the group would be to scrap Macron's very unpopular pension reform. Other measures would include increasing the minimum wage, introducing a wealth tax, boosting measures to fight climate change, and reforming the European Union's agriculture policy.

The leftist bloc worked together during the last parliamentary election campaign in 2022 but a leadership struggle and policy differences - including over the Gaza war - led to the alliance's effective collapse.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Benoit Van Overstraeten, Layli Foroudi in Paris, Charlotte Van Campenhout in AmsterdamWriting by Ingrid MelanderEditing by Frances Kerry)