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The left-wing French coalition hoping to raise minimum wage and slap price controls on petrol | World News

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France’s left wing New Popular Front (NPF) – now the largest group in parliament – has called for a prime minister who will implement its ideas including upping the minimum wage and price controls on petrol.

The leftist alliance secured the most seats in the recent French elections but fell short of the 289 needed for a majority in the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament.

President Emmanuel Macron’s Together bloc came in second and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party finished third.

France’s parties are now jockeying for position and it’s unclear exactly how things will shake out, but the NPF has insisted it will implement its radical set of ideas.

Manuel Bompard, from the hard-left France Unbowed party which is part of the NPF, said: “The president must appoint as prime minister someone from the New Popular Front to implement the NFP’s programme, the whole programme and nothing but the programme.”

It remains to be seen if the NPF as a whole will reach a deal with other parties to form a majority, or if more moderate parts of the coalition will splinter off in a deal with centrists.

France Unbowed’s leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has been labelled a firebrand, the most divisive figure in French politics and France’s Jeremy Corbyn.

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France: Govt in limbo after election

What are the NPF’s policies?

Shortly after it formed in June, the NPF outlined its ambitious economic programme and how it would fund it.

It included:

• raising the minimum wage

• price controls on essential foods, electricity, gas and petrol

• lowering the retirement age to 62

• wealth tax on the rich

• heavy investment in green transition and public services

Read more:
Deepening polarisation tearing France apart – analysis
Macron rejects French PM’s resignation

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What could happen now?

It is possible that President Macron – who called the snap election in a bid to counter the rise of the far-right – could seek a deal with more moderate elements of the NFP.

He has ruled out working with Melenchon’s France Unbowed party, but he could stretch out a hand to other parties in the NPF – the Socialists and the Greens.

His government last week suspended a decree that would have diminished workers’ rights to unemployment benefits, which has been interpreted as a gesture toward the left.

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