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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 17:01 GMT
Royal v Sarkozy: The policies
Segolene Royal
Nicolas Sarkozy

Segolene Royal, the Socialists' candidate for the presidency, is the 53-year-old regional premier of Poitou-Charentes. She has laid out a 100-point plan which she would implement if elected France's first female head of state.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the 52-year-old leader of the centre-right UMP and former interior minister, sharply divides opinion but is the front-runner to get into the Elysee Palace after winning 31% of votes cast in the first round.

SALARIES, BENEFITS AND PENSIONS

  • Minimum wage to rise by about 250 euros ($325) to 1,500 euros per month
  • Raise basic state pension by 5%
  • Jobless to receive 90% of salary for first year of unemployment
  • Exempt overtime (above 35 hours) from taxes and social security charges
  • Allow workers to retire at the age they want
  • Potentially remove benefits from those who turn down work

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  • Renegotiated EU treaty put to referendum
  • Create a Eurozone government, which would promote economic growth and agreement on common tax levels
  • New EU-led Mideast peace initiative
  • "Mini" EU treaty put to French parliament
  • Create a new "Mediterranean Union" comprising France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus
  • Oppose Turkey's membership of the EU

HOUSING

  • Build 120,000 new council homes per year and allow councils to claim properties empty for two years
  • Cap some private rents and grant lifelong guarantee of housing
  • Provide assistance to those in council housing who want to buy their property
  • No person forced to sleep rough within two years of his election

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE

  • Reduce dependence on nuclear power
  • 20% of energy from renewables by 2020
  • Reform EU farming subsidies to favour environment and smaller farmers
  • Promote nuclear power as a clean source of energy
  • Increase amount of tax on pollution
  • Simplify EU farming subsidies and link payments to actual market prices for products

ECONOMY AND TAXES

  • No increase in general taxation
  • Lower tax burden on companies that create jobs
  • "Consolidate" 35-hour week
  • 4 percentage point drop in taxes
  • Exempt up to 95% of population from inheritance tax
  • Allow people to work more than 35 hours if they wish

IMMIGRATION, LAW AND ORDER

  • Residency papers for those who meet certain criteria such as job contract, time in France
  • Military-style training camps for young offenders
  • Reduce illegal immigration, pursue selective immigration that favours arrival of qualified workers
  • Minimum sentences for repeat offenders, tougher sentences for juveniles

HOW TO PAY FOR IT

  • Financed by economic growth of 2.5% every year over next five years
  • Cut civil service, costs of which account for 45% of government budget




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