Monday, February 12, 2007

Back to the Future

In France, if the Socialists get their way:

France's socialist champion Segolene Royal launched her presidential manifesto Sunday, promising a generous package of welfare measures aimed at the most vulnerable in society.

In a speech before 15,000 Socialist Party (PS) delegates, Royal announced a 100-point "presidential pact" including promises to increase the minimum wage, boost social housing, invest in renewable energy sources and "consolidate" the 35-hour-week.

...."The cries of silent distress, the poor broken lives, the humiliated families ravaged by misery and injustice ... all this inspired me to propose the policies of change which alone are capable of surmounting the crisis," she said.

At the end of the speech, activists unveiled the campaign's new slogan: "A fairer France for a stronger France."

Royal's exhaustive list was heavily influenced by the PS's own manifesto -- a left-wing document that was released last year.

The minimum wage should be increased to 1,500 euros (1,950 dollars) from its current rate of around 1,250 euros "as early as possible in the next legislature", while basic pensions should go up by five percent, she said.

But it didn't play well elsewhere:

A member of Sarkozy's party, Lionnel Luca, called Royal's speech "boring," saying she appeared as "if she was leafing through a mail-order catalogue that had only leftwing pages and where they forgot to give the prices."

No comments: