Frexit campaigner hits out at ‘old fashioned’ EU
French MP Francois Ruffin blasted the EU in the French Parliament on Thursday, pledging to “disobey” Brussels’ laws in favour of more independence for France. In a passionate speech to his colleagues in the National Assembly, the La France Insoumise politician said: “But stop, François, with your floor prices, you know very well that it is prohibited by the European Union …
“I don’t care, we’re disobeying!
“And even above! The WTO forbids it!
“I don’t care anymore! We disobey.
“We will see what side will take the people, the peasants.”
Despite the strong anti-EU sentiment shown in his speech, Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot was left furious by the comments.
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The Frexit campaigner said it was time to abandon this rhetorical “courageous” speeches and leave the EU, as disobedience in the bloc would only be repaid with austerity measures.
Referring to former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who succumbed to the eurozone bailout, Mr Philippot said: “I can no longer stand these deceptively courageous speeches: ‘Is it prohibited by the EU? We don’t care, we disobey!’.
“Finally, a little truth and courage!
“They have the euro, you will not disobey and you know it!
“It always ends in Tsipras!
“We’re leaving, Frexit, period!”
The French politician has longed campaigned for France to leave the bloc, arguing the latest EU recovery measures will pave the way for yet another Greece-like situation in France.
Lambasting French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic plan, rubber-stamped by the EU Commission, Mr Philippot said he measures risk putting France in the same precarious position Greece found itself when the world was hit by the latest financial crisis in 2008.
He blasted: “The report of the Court of Audit copy like a good little soldier the crazy austerity programm demanded by the European Commission: attack pensions, unemployment insurance, housing, health spending (yes, even health!).
“A Greek suicide!”
Paris is planning to cut its public sector budget deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2027 from a post-war record of 9.2 percent last year.
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France aims to gradually cut its deficit and only return to the 3 percent limit long after the crisis is expected to subside.
This year the finance ministry expects only a marginal improvement, projecting the deficit will fall to 9.0 percent.
While ruling out a tax increase over the next five years, the ministry said annual spending growth would have to be limited to 0.7 percent after inflation – the lowest in two decades – to meet the new deficit reduction target.
To stay on track, the ministry wants a cap on spending growth to be written for the first time into a new multi-year budget planning law.
In addition to limiting spending growth, once the crisis is over France will need to carry out structural reforms such as a retirement system overhaul that was put on ice when the outbreak began last year, the first source said.
While the EU public finance rules have been suspended, some member governments such as France are pushing to revise them once the crisis has waned.
In France’s case, the Finance Ministry expects the national debt to edge up from 117.8 percent of GDP this year to peak at 118.3 percent in 2025 before it begins to fall.
France’s long-term budget plans are built on estimates that the eurozone’s second biggest economy can rebound 5.0 percent this year after contracting 8.2 percent last year.
Next year the economy is expected to grow by 4.0 percent with the rate gradually slowing to 1.4 percent annually from 2025, according to the ministry’s projections.
The plan was approved in accordance with the EU’s Recovery Fund borrowing, which will soon reach member states’ banks.