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France should renegotiate EU treaties or leave, Melenchon charges

FRENCH socialist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said at the weekend that France should leave the EU if it proves impossible to renegotiate treaties that are “incompatible” with his party’s socialist programme.

He dubbed President Emmanuel Macron a “photocopier” for the European Union and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a speech at Amfis, the summer festival of his party La France Insoumise, in Marseille.

Mr Melenchon encouraged supporters to give Mr Macron a “democratic beating” in next spring’s elections to the European Parliament, assuring the crowd of 3,000 supporters that the election could be turned into an “anti-Macron referendum.”

“When you hold a referendum on Mr Macron, you are holding a referendum on Europe, because Mr Macron does not exist — he is just a little photocopier of the European Union and Ms Merkel.”

Criticising Mr Macron for encouraging the privatisation of the SNCF railway service through so-called reform, Mr Melenchon said that “the reform of the labour code was directly requested by the European Commission.

“Macron has imposed on France everything that France has rejected all these years. He is the only person to defend Merkel’s vision for Europe.”

Mr Melenchon condemned the EU, saying that European leaders are to blame for the decline of French public services and infrastructure, warning that people are beginning to “discover” the EU programme of liberalisation.

Mr Melenchon said that the left’s project of “social and tax harmonisation from above” is incompatible with current European Union treaties and said that La France Insoumise’s plan for the EU is twofold.

There is a “plan A” for renegotiation of treaties perceived to be anti-democratic and a “plan B” for an organised departure of France from the EU if this proves impossible.

“People will be voting [La France Insoumise] to tell Macron: Stop! We are fed up! Get out [of office]!”

La France Insoumise will contest the spring 2019 European elections in the “Now — the people!” electoral alliance, which also includes Podemos in Spain, the Red-Green Alliance of Denmark and Portugal’s Left Bloc.

As well as being a staunch critic of Mr Macron and the EU, Mr Melenchon, who received nearly 20 per cent of the vote in last year’s presidential election has also called for France to leave Nato and the IMF.

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