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Presidential elections 2012: potential impact on British residents


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I know that French politics leave many Forum members cold, but the forthcoming elections could have a significant impact on various aspects of the life of British people permanently resident in France.

One already aired is the future of the Autoentrepreneur scheme, but there could be others, such as Health cover and taxation.

I thought I would start this thread to air our understanding of the system and the manifestos of the various candidates.

A first link to the 'programmes' is here:


The principal candidates are:


A bit of background:

The election takes place over two 'tours' held on 22 April and 6 May 2012, unless someone gets over 50% in the first round.

The main risk of this system is that since both left and right are basically coalitions the vote of one side can splinter between several similar candidates with the result that none of them get to the second round.

This happened in 2002 when Lionel Jospin, the left wing favourite to win was edged out by Jean-Marie Le Pen, because there were a plethora of candidates from the left and many people voted for their particular brand, expecting to be able to vote for Jospin in the second round.

President Sarkozy has been terrified of this effect, and has been using his position to force other candidates from his camp to withdraw.

He has largely succeeded, apart for his arch enemy Dominique de Villepin.

The extreme right to whom he has been making unashamed advances pose a threat if too many of them vote for their own candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round, so Sarkozy has been trying to ensure that she can't get the 500 signatures needed to stand by insisting on the rule that the names of those signing be known publicly. As there is still some shame attached to being associated with the FN she has been having some difficulties.

At the moment the 'left' are mild favourites to win, Hollande is no lunatic lefty and the hands of either side will be tied by the financial crisis and the markets.

As for the issues I mentioned above:

The AE scheme is a child of Sarkozy, brought in in 2008

(Ce dispositif a été créé dans le cadre de la loi de modernisation de

l'économie (LME), promulguée le 4 août 2008. La loi pour l’accélération

des programmes de construction et d’investissements publics et privés

(n°2008-1360) élargit à l'ensemble des professions libérales non

règlementées, jusque là écartées par l'URSSAF, le statut d'auto-entrepreneur grâce à un amendement rectificatif.

Ce régime a pour but de simplifier fortement le lancement,

l'interruption et la cessation d'une activité à but lucratif, notamment

en permettant de s'inscrire directement en ligne pour créer son

entreprise, mais aussi en simplifiant le paiement des charges et

cotisations sociales. Il s'adresse, à compter du 1er janvier 2009,

à tout porteur de projet qui souhaite créer son activité sans pour

autant créer une société pour développer une activité complémentaire.

Ce régime a été créé au départ pour offrir un cadre juridique à toute activité lucrative de l'Internet

où le niveau d'investissement est très faible ; il a été dans un

deuxième temps ajusté afin d'offrir un moyen rapide de création


Les auto-entrepreneurs sont exonérés de la contribution économique territoriale (CET) pendant 3 ans.)

The CMU was brought in by the Jospin Government in 1999 under Martine Aubry rival and now supporter of Hollande

La CMU (CMU de base) et la Couverture maladie universelle complémentaire

(CMU-C) ont été votées dans le cadre de la loi du 27 juillet 1999 sous

le gouvernement de Lionel Jospin, à l'initiative de Martine Aubry. L'un des principaux rapporteurs de cette loi a été Jean-Claude Boulard,

député du département de la Sarthe à l'époque. Cette loi est entrée en

vigueur le 1er janvier 2000. Au 31 mars 2007, 1,7 million de personnes

bénéficiaient de la CMU de base et 4,17 millions bénéficiaient de la

CMU-C au 31 décembre 20081,2.

There are moves as in the UK to reduce expenses, and I would suggest that Sarkozy is likely to be less sympathetic to the CMU than the left.

I'd invite comments  and questions for discussion from anybody interested in how the election result might affect British residents, given the programmes I linked to above

Of course in the unlikely event that Marine Le Pen is elected and takes France out of the Euro and Europe that will set the cat among the pigeons as far as S1 and other European rules are concerned...

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Norman, no time to look at your links now but I am dead keen to reply so that you know that at least one other person is interested!

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to ginger up some interest in my French class on the election but nobody, apart from the teacher, even knew any of the candidates aside from Sarko![:(]

I guess it's a case of can't know, don't know.

But......I shall return![:)]

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Very useful to have something like this, I'm sure other rhetoric will be spouted by the dwarf and Hollande (heaven forbid if Le Pen gets in!!) up to the vote, with none of it being carried through if they get into power.

One point, could you paraphrase the french? I can read it (mostly) but I know some people on this forum (resident and otherwise) who don't read/speak french and might find it useful

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Thanks for starting this thread, and for the links, especially the details of the programmes of each party. I think it gives a good summary of the "flavour" of each party.

I listen to the station 'Sud Radio' in the car on the way to work each morning - they're currently doing a presidential election slot and have been interviewing some of the candidates or their representatives (doubt if Sarkozy will show up though, will probably send a minion). Yesterday it was Marine Le Pen, this morning José Bové. Interesting.

The French people who I've talked to about the election seem to think Hollande will win, but not a lot will change.

As someone who works in France, and will probably/possibly end up working here for longer than I worked in the UK, these elections interest me far more than those in the UK.

I only wish I could vote - it would be the only reason I'd consider getting French nationality (not because I don't want French nationality but simply because I'm NOT French and never will be, not matter how long I live and work here)


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Ok First for the gist of the French I quoted above:

1) AE

"This regime is intended to greatly

simplify the start-up, pausing, and winding-up of business

activities, notably in allowing people to sign up directly on-line to

create their business, but also in simplifying the payments of social

security contributions.

It is intended from January 2009 for

all those who want to exercise a business activity without having to

start up a company."

2) CMU


The CMU was voted in on 27th July under

the Jospin government under Martine Aubry's initiative.

It came into action from the 1st

January 2000.

By the 27th March 2007 1.7 million

people benefited from the basic CMU, and by the 31st December 2008

4.17 million had the CMC C."é

It is worth pointing out that before 2000 there was no provision for those who had not paid into the system, and British people living here (such as me) had either to work or take out private medical insurance.

The present arrangements are therefore very recent..

Now to look at the effects of different policies:

I am going to cherry pick a few of the proposals of each party which I think could affect residents British people.

I will take a different party for each post.

1) National Front:

Obligatory course in French for parents who haven't mastered the language

Cours de Français obligatoires pour les parents qui ne maîtrisent pas la langue.

Severe sanctions for those who employ 'black labour'

Recours aux travailleurs clandestins sévèrement sanctionné.

Surpress Bi-Nationality and make it hardee to take French nationality

suppression de la bi-nationalité, et durcissement des conditions de naturalisation.

leave the Euro

Sortie de l'Euro organisée en concertation avec l'Allemagne.

Prefer French people when engaging workers

Application de la préférence nationale pour l'embauche

Stricter border controls

Rétablissement du contrôle systématique aux frontières (Sortie de l'Espace Schengen)

Reduction of International trips by bringing jobs back to France

Réduction du transport international grâce à la relocalisation industrielle.

Sounds like they have been reading the Daily Mail [6]

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  • 3 weeks later...
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They are not anonymous which was a big issue in the business of Martine  le Pen getting her 500.

It has also prevented Dominique le Villepin getting his, as pressure was put on to avoid splitting Sarzozy's first-round vote.

On the other hand I don't know where to find out who signed up for which candidate.

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Some clown here in the Vendee seems to support Marine le Pen .....He has spray painted her name on the white gable end of a restaurant .....I do wish they would not do that ...However if that shows the mentallity of her supporters perhaps it will help to keep her out .

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Yes, these details will be available, even if they are not now.

For those that don't know. At least 500 maires have to vote for the presidential candidates and Marine le Pen went to court to try and get some sort of injunction in order that no one could see who had voted for her  She said that lots wanted to vote for her, but hesitated because, I suppose, it wouldn't look good.

And I suppose that is what you get with the extreme right, instant diminishing of open government, if they can get away with it.

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Thanks for the links Norman - extremely interesting, and will be useful to print out for reference later.

I knew that Marine le Pen had got her votes, but hadn't heard that de Villepin didn't get his hoped-for miracle.

Speaking about the elections with a French neighbour last night, she said that spending is not only down locally, but will stay down until after the elections. Several stallholders in the market said much the same this morning. Does anyone know if that's so where they are? There were plenty of cars parked in the car parks I pass on my walk in to town, and there were large numbers of people in the market and queues at some of the stalls, but not as many as usual. The bio vegetable stall and the accras stall had a lot queueing, but others such as my regular cheese seller had only a couple of customers when I was buying and each time I passed. I went in twice, as I was buying salads etc for planting out on my balcony and couldn't carry all my shopping in one go, so I had a double viewing.

As an aside, France 3 were filming in the market this morning; they filmed yesterday in the poshest jeweller's in town while he was designing etc, and he went round town with the film crew this morning, talking about particular buildings, history etc. Don't know when it will be broadcast. It will no doubt show that town was crowded, as the crew could barely get through the crowds, and at one stage the man with the big light got caught up with a guided tour, which was quite amusing!

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To continue with the far left.

The manifesto is here


or downloadable from


There are 9 major areas of policy: (All translations are loose and are of the gist)

In each area I give the heading in bold, and I have picked out just a few points which could have an impact on British people in France in the unlikely event  that the party wins.

In any case it is interesting to know what a substantial number of French people are thinking The most apposite I have put in Bold Italics

So far I have only managed to indicate the detail of  the first of the 9 sections.


Share wealth and abolish poverty

– Rétablissement des 35 heures (bring back the 35 hour week)

– Droit à la retraite à 60 ans à taux plein (Right to retire at 60 on a full pension)

– SMIC à 1.700 euros brut par mois pour 35 heures (Minimum wage of 1700€ for the 35 hr week)

– Instauration d’un salaire maximum pour toutes les entreprises (anyone earning over 30,000 a month taxed at 100% therafter)

Nous interdirons les expulsions locatives de toute personne et famille en

difficulté économique et sociale.
Nous garantirons à chacune et chacun

le droit au maintien dans son logement, par la mise en œuvre d’une

sécurité locative mutualisée.

Forbid the expulsion of all tenants in financial and social difficulty

 Nous mettrons en place une tarification

sociale garantissant le droit et l’accès de toutes et de tous à l’eau et à


Nous appliquerons la loi de réquisition des logements vacants et en-

gagerons un plan de mobilisation des logements vides : réduisant

le délai de vacance d’un logement, nous renforcerons les critères de

procédure de réquisition et l’abattement annuel de 10 % au bout de la

cinquième année et d’exonération pour les étrangers

Requisition of empty properties

le relèvement du plafond du Livret A à 20.000 euros

Lifting the ceiling on Livret A savings accounts to 20.000 euros


Nous abrogerons

la loi Bachelot et la loi de 2003 instituant la tarification à l’activité


Nous rétablirons le remboursement intégral à 100 % des dépenses

de santé couvertes par la Sécurité sociale en y incluant les lunettes

et les soins dentaires ;

Social security to reimburse at 100% including dentistry and glasses

les mutuelles seront orientées principalement

sur les questions de prévention. Nous supprimerons les forfaits et les

franchises. Le financement de la protection sociale doit être construit

à partir des cotisations sur les salaires, avec une modulation et une

contribution sur les revenus financiers des entreprises, des banques et

des assurances.


Take back control from the Banks and Money Markets


Ecological Planning


Sustainable Industry and Agriculture


A real Republique (Social issues such as Equality, Discrimination etc)


Constitutional Reform, including a "6th Republic"


Free France from the Treaty of Libon and build a different Europe


France in the World..Foreign affairs


Education and Culture

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 A good question Norman, but personally as a semi permanent tourist with a holiday home in France, I don't think the election will affect me very much; allthough of course whoever wins, taxes will go up and they will blame the last regime so what's new? In the event of the lunatic right or left gaining power then we are all in the doodoo, but if that happens I don't think many people would want to live/stay here anyway. What does concern me is the forecast that the UK budget will cut the 50% tax rate, I mean what will I do with all that extra money from my state pension? [Www] 
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Well Norman, that all sounds quite doable - errr perhaps not!

I actually don't think it is beyond the realms of possibility that Marine Le Pen could do well. However objectionable her party may be there is no doubt that she is well spoken and convincing sounding. People who I think are otherwise OK seem to be persuaded that she is OK. Here in the SW there has always been a largish NF following but the endemic racism seems to be getting worse and worse. Yesterday in my stint at the library I sat through and anti-immigrant rant by several of the good ladies of our village and when I tried to protest was given to understand that it was the likes of me and my wishy washy anglo saxon ideas that was causing the country to fall apart. I was informed that the majority of immigrants were such that they could NEVER be assimilated. The violence and unpleasantness of it by a bunch of middle aged middle class elderly ladies really took me aback!
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I had a feeling for a while that it could be her versus Hollande in the same way as it was her father versus Chirac in 2002. If that were to be the case  I wouldn't trust the right to do the same decent thing as the Socialists did then and vote tactically.

However she seems to be making slower progress since Sarkozy has succeeded in concentrating almost all the rest of the vote of the  right,  and Mélenchon is making inroads into Hollande's first round lead, splitting the left as usual.

I want to have a go at the big Two soon but will be away for the second half of the week so may not have time.

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[quote user="Cerise"]when I tried to protest was given to understand that it was the likes of me and my wishy washy anglo saxon ideas that was causing the country to fall apart. [/quote]

Oh, I think the French are more than capable of making the country fall apart without the help of wishy wash ideas from other countries (if indeed it has not already fallen apart?).

There seems to be a paradox though . . . the Anglo Saxon and [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages]Germanic [/url] people seem to do better than the latin countries depsite the wishy washy ideas.

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Eeeeek, a spelling mistake, I typed depsite, should have typed despite.

[quote user="NormanH"]Of course it all depends on what you mean by 'do better'.


I think do better is a term that one might have to define according to ones own definitions of do better (could Sir Humphrey have put it any better?).

For my part I think I would suggest that the countries (or groups of) that I mentioned, well, just seem to have more get up and go.

Now ask me to define get and go [img]http://www.thesmilies.com/smilies/surprised/boggled.gif[/img] . . . . .

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