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Where does the French left stand on immigration, Ukraine and climate policy?

. Leaders of France's left-wing parties, allied in a coalition known as the New Popular Front on Friday outlined their plan to fend off the far-right from claiming power
. Leaders of France's left-wing parties, allied in a coalition known as the New Popular Front on Friday outlined their plan to fend off the far-right from claiming power Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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France's left-wing parties struggled to find common ground ahead of the European elections but have struck an alliance for the snap legislative elections.

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The New Popular Front (NFP), the alliance of left-wing parties formed ahead of France's snap legislative elections, is polling second with less than one week to go before the first round opens.

Made up of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party, the Communist party, the centre-left Socialist party and the Greens, the coalition is forecast to secure 29.5% of the vote, according to the latest Ipsos poll published on Saturday.

That's six points below the estimated tally of the far-right National Rally (RN) but 10 points ahead of what Renaissance, the centrist party of President Emmanuel Macron, and its allies should get.

Although the left appeared divided during June's European elections, the NFP issued a common programme of 150 measures last week. But where does a coalition spanning such a broad spectrum of left-wing views stand on some of the key issues? Has it found a common cause on immigration, a unified message on the war in Ukraine, and is it of one mind on climate policy?

Euronews breaks down the coalition's proposals.

Helping climate refugees and sending arms to Ukraine

The New Popular Front wants to set up a rescue agency at sea and on land for undocumented migrants. It also wants to facilitate visa applications.

The left is also calling for the European Migration Pact, the landmark reform of the EU's asylum system that was greenlighted in May after more than 10 years of negotiations, to be re-opened before the rules are set to come into effect in 2026.

The alliance also wishes to create a status for "climate refugees".

Unlike the National Rally, the New Popular Front wants to guarantee access to state medical aid (AME) to undocumented migrants as well as the "droit du sol" for children born in France (the right to citizenship of a country based on being born there). 

On the international stage, the New Popular Front asserts that it wants to "defend Ukraine and peace on the European continent."

"The delivery of necessary weapons", "the cancellation of Ukraine's foreign debt", "the seizure of the assets of oligarchs who contribute to the Russian war effort" and the "sending of peacekeepers to secure nuclear power plants" are among the measures outlined.

Wealth tax to counter cost of living crisis

The left-wing programme also calls for putting caps on "the prices of basic necessities" such as food, energy and fuel.

It also proposes that wages and pensions be indexed to inflation. The alliance also wants to raise the minimum wage from €1,400 to €1,600 after tax.

The left's programme also rejects "the austerity constraints of the budget pact", the EU's set of rules under which a member state's budget deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP or risks sanctions. France's public deficit is set to reach 5.5% of GDP in 2023.

To finance these measures, the programme aims to re-establish a wealth tax (ISF), reinforced with a climate component.

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It also aims to abolish "inefficient, unfair and polluting tax niches", and "reform the inheritance tax to make it more progressive by targeting the highest assets and introducing a maximum inheritance".

'Europe's leader in renewable energies'

Environmental measures are also an important part of the New Popular Front's programme.

The measures include a moratorium on mega-basins to store water for agricultural purposes. Opponents claim these basins have devastating effects on biodiversity and deprive the local communities of access to water.

In particular, the programme calls for "a climate plan aimed at carbon neutrality by 2050" and "complete insulation of housing, with increased support for all households".

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Another objective is set: France should become "the European leader in renewable energies, with offshore wind power and the development of hydroelectric power."

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