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4 questions to Frédéric Lefebvre: “Stop bugging the French !”
Frédéric Lefebvre is a representative of the French living in Northern America. He is a member of Les Républicains' party and is running campaign for the centre-right’s primary election in November. For months, he has presented his programme to change France. His aim: the presidential election in 2017. He answered our questions.
- What are the sectors which you think should be reformed?
Many things should be changed in France. First of all, our social model. The number of unemployed has raised from 400,000 to 6 million within 40 years. The tax rate has increased from 35% to 45%, which is a record. The average debt of 20% has reached 97%. This is an expensive system which will not be able to face the challenges of tomorrow, like automation. MIT said that 50% of jobs can be replaced by machines!
Another sector that should be reformed is education. I want a national education. We need to get out of this logic of ghettos: our identity is drifting. This is happening in France, but also in the UK with Brexit. And I am fighting against this feeling.
We should invest to give everyone a chance. Every French person, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or atheist, whether they live on the continent or overseas. In the French suburbs and villages, many young people do not have the opportunity to be exposed to an international experience.
I think we invested a lot in the urban sector whereas we should invest in the human one. It is now time to open to door of this golden cage. It is time for deep reform.
- What are your policies to improve French life?
Our social model is weak. It costs €42bn at local level. All the people who create the norms, the ones who help the citizens (because this is a very complex system), those who control it and those who sanction, they are all expensive for the country. We should reduce their role. This system, which takes so much public money, needs to be changed.
I want to create a universal income, which would be combined with a job. It would make the French think about training, getting a job and turning their lives around. I worked on a range between €800 and €1,000 for adults and €400 for those under 18. It also means we would create a universal tax.
Talking about education, the young students or those who do not have a diploma should have a chance to live abroad. I think this access to the whole world is a major priority and France should give this opportunity to each one of its children.
- How are you different from the other candidates for the primary election?
I think that, like all the French living abroad, I have a global vision of life. I bring a new political attitude by referring to right-wing and left-wing texts. And this behaviour will change our country.
We should think of the nation’s interest before thinking of the party’s interest. And we should do it with a global vision. French people suffer from withdrawing into their country. There are 6 million British citizens living abroad, 5 million Germans and 2.5 million French people. And we are still stupid enough to talk about brain drain…
- What do you want to say to the French living abroad, especially the ones living in London?
I came to meet them because there are two abandoned Frances: a provincial France and a global France. Our country is driven by a political and Parisian technostructure. I want to link this global France to the provincial France. I often say that distance is a love enhancer. The farther you live from France, the more you love it. It is now necessary to turn this love into actions to change the country. We must change these messy rules which prevent people from taking initiatives in France.
I will finish by saying: “Stop bugging the French!” I am sure the French living abroad understand this message. In their host country, they are not as annoyed by laws as we are in France.