‘Let’s leave this hell!’ EU chief sparks Frexit fury as Brussels demands pension reform

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The EU Commissioner for Internal Market said on Sunday that he was in favour of the implementation of the pension reform in France. “It is obviously up to each state, but I have no doubt that it will be done,” he said on RTL.

He continued: “The faster the better.

“In Brussels, I have a fairly precise operating method.

“You have to be clear about the objectives, but besides that, you have to respect the democratic times of each state.”

The comments sparked the fury of Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot.

The Frexiteer and presidential candidate blasted: “Thierry Breton spits it out: the pension reform is well demanded by the European Union!

“The faster the better” he announces!

“Let’s leave this hell! Frexit!”

Earlier this month, French Prime Minister Jean Castex, said it was still not the time to implement the pension reform.

The Prime Minister spoke succinctly on this subject on Wednesday, September 8.

According to Jean Castex, the conditions for its implementation were “still not met.”

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During a press conference, the Prime Minister still considered that the pension reform was “a necessity” to restore the balance of the system.

In a subtle allusion to the opposition of the unions and the reluctance on this reform, he said: “We have the imperative duty to promote as much as possible the unity of the country.”

Seven months out from presidential elections, the French government on Wednesday submitted its final budget of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term – defending its strategy of cutting taxes and increasing public spending to deal with the health crisis.

Faced with vigorous criticism from candidates all sides of politics, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Macron’s “whatever it takes” Covid recovery policy had left the French economy better off than many other countries.

“We have spent the money of the French people wisely,” Mr Le Maire said of the 130 billion euros – about 6 percent of GDP – that has been forked out since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Mr Le Maire confirmed that this policy would give way to a more targeted strategy from October.

“The French can trust us. We have shown them that we know how to steer in the middle of a storm and that we know where we are going,” he added.

The government’s major economic forecasts have been known for two weeks, and the presentation of the finance bill is a chance for the government to show off the results of the last five years, and lay the groundwork for the election battle.

Details on long-term investments in new industrial sectors were scarce, though, with MPs on the left lamenting the fact the budget does not include the cost of a special income designed to get unemployed young people into work. These were to be added later.

Drafts of the budget bill show an increase in spending for all government ministries – amounting to about 11 billion euros more than in 2021. Almost no ministry will see its budget cut next year.

Those reaping the biggest benefits include the armed forces, interior and justice ministries, which together account for 33 percent of the total.

While the last budget of a government’s mandate is traditionally the most generous – and is often amended after elections – opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly have denounced the state’s spending spree.

Amid multiple promises of budgetary largesse in recent weeks, Mr Macron has been accused of election campaigning using “the chequebook of France”.

“When you create spending, when you create debt, while at the same time failing to make structural reforms,” said Damien Abad, who heads the rightwing Les Républicains party, referring to the abandonment of the government’s controversial pension reform bill.

“This means you are basically spending without financing your expenditure. The ‘whatever it takes’ for health care, yes. The ‘whatever it costs in terms of elections’, no – because that is done on the backs of the French people.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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