The French left has unveiled a plan to undo Macron’s reforms and break with the EU

(Bloomberg) — A coalition of France’s left-wing parties presented a manifesto that singled out most of President Emmanuel Macron’s seven-year economic reforms and set the country on a collision course with the European Union over fiscal policy.

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Macron’s group – which released its plan days after a snap legislative election – wants to overhaul the government’s pension reform, restore the right to retire at 60, raise the minimum wage and impose additional taxes on the profits of some industrial companies. Their leaders told reporters on Friday.

“We will finance this ambitious project,” said Socialist Party leader Olivier Fauré.

The new coalition — as well as attempts by the right to form a coalition — spells potential disaster for Macron’s party. Because France has a two-round electoral system and is barred from going to a second vote, many of Macron’s centrist revival candidates may not make it to the final election day.

The CAC 40 index fell nearly 6% for the week, heading for its biggest weekly drop since March 2022 and surrendering the remainder of its year-to-date gains. The decline puts France at risk of losing its crown as Europe’s largest stock market.

Polls show former President Francois Hollande’s parties ranging from Socialists to Communists and far-left France Anboud are on track to form the second-largest group behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally.

Macron is expected to appoint a prime minister from the group if the coalition is to win the election. Asked whether far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon of France Anbo would be put forward, the party’s national coordinator, Manuel Bombard, said no decision had been made.

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“We have agreed that if we take power and win the elections, only the parliamentary group with the largest number of lawmakers will make an opinion,” he told reporters. “Jean-Luc Melenchon is very good at being prime minister and he has expressed this. Jean-Luc Melenchon is very good at being a candidate in the legislative elections, it’s his decision to stay or not.”

The left-wing coalition said it would reject a fiscal deal governing the EU’s debt and deficits and propose a European climate and social emergency deal. It also said that the order would freeze the prices of essential commodities like food, energy and fuel.

Earlier on Friday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that a leftist coalition victory in the snap vote would lead to economic collapse and the country’s exit from the European Union, putting fears over the economy at the center of the campaign.

“Their plan is complete madness,” Le Maire said on FranceInfo radio. “It would guarantee relegation, mass unemployment and an exit from the EU.”

Le Maire has joined Macron in warning of the consequences of far-right or far-left parties coming to power. But after a rapid drop in support for the president’s party and some radical groups tempering their platforms, those alarms may fall flat this time around.

The documents report significant gaps between coalition members on several policies. But the compromises they reached would still represent a radical shift in economic policy in France, and a weakened commitment to fiscal discipline that would undermine relations with the European Commission.

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Macron dissolved the National Assembly on Sunday and announced two rounds of legislative elections on June 30 and July 7. It was his political group that was defeated by National Rally in the European Parliament elections. The move has spooked investors as the vote raises uncertainty about how the next government will handle France’s public finances.

Unions have called for protests across the country on Saturday, with CGT leader Sophie Binet warning on Friday against France falling “into fascism”.

(Updates with comment from France Unbot beginning in the seventh column.)

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