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we have verified six statements by political guests of the program “France 2022”

Three days before the first round of the legislative elections, ten representatives of the main political parties were the guests, Thursday, June 9, of the special program “France 2022”, on France 2. For almost 2h45, Olivier Faure (PS – Nupes), Julien Bayou (EELV – Nupes), Ian Brossat (PC – Nupes), Adrien Quatennens (LFI – Nupes), Brigitte Fouré (UDI), Jordan Bardella (RN), Olivier Véran (LREM – Together ), Isabelle Florennes (MoDem – Ensemble), Guillaume Peltier (Reconquest!) and Charles Consigny (LR) debated on purchasing power, pensions or even security and police violence. Franceinfo verified six of their statements.

1Taxes represent half the price of fuel, according to Charles Consigny (LR): true

“You know like me that, on gasoline, we have a very large volume of taxes. It’s about 50% tax on the price of gasoline.”

Charles Consigny, Republican candidate

on “France 2022”

In the first part of the show, the political representatives discussed purchasing power. Charles Consigny, member of the Republicans, castigated the share of taxation on prices at the pump. This one effectively represents between 50 to 60% of the final fuel price. This share includes the internal consumption tax on energy products (TICPE) and the value added tax (VAT) of 20%, which applies both to the product excluding tax and to the TICPE. The rest of the price at the pump consists of the cost of crude oil, refining, and transportation and distribution costs.

Currently, on a liter of diesel at 1.96 euros, there are 0.93 euros in taxes, as explained by the French Union of Petroleum Industries (Ufip). As for the liter of SP95, at 2.10 euros, it includes 1.04 euros in taxes.

2France has 10 million poor people and 6 million poorly housed, says Ian Brossat (PCF): partly true

“We have 10 million poor people, 8 million people who go to food aid” and “6 million who are poorly housed in France.”

Ian Brossat, PCF spokesman

on “France 2022”

While the debate focused on the high cost of living, Ian Brossat, spokesperson for the PCF, advanced these three figures to point out the level of precariousness in France. The first two data are close to reality. But not the last.

Some 9.2 million people lived below the poverty line in 2019, according to INSEE, which is very close to the figure put forward by Ian Brossat. Otherwise, the national coordination committee for the fight against food insecurity (Cocolupa) explained that in 2020, 7 million people were in a situation of food insecurity. A figure slightly lower than that quoted by Ian Brossat, but which dates from two years ago, therefore before the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, concerning the badly housed, the Abbé-Pierre Foundation report published last February puts the figure at 4.1 million people, two million less than the Communist Party spokesman claims.

3The five biggest French fortunes own as much as 40% of French people, says Adrien Quatennens (LFI): true

“Five people, five billionaires, together own as much as 27 million people.”

Adrien Quatennens, MP LFI

on “France 2022”

Still on purchasing power, Adrien Quatennens pointed to wealth inequalities in France. The data he puts forward are credible and come froma report by the NGO Oxfam on global inequalities published in January 2022.
In this report, we can read that “the first five fortunes of France (…) alone own as much as the poorest 40% in France”the equivalent of 27 million French people.
According to the magazine’s ranking Capitalthe five largest French fortunes owned more than 400 billion euros in 2021.

As for the data on the 27 million poorest French people, Oxfam refers to Credit Suisse estimates (in PDF). The banking group argues that the French owned 14,085 billion euros in 2020 and that the poorest 40% owned 2.4% of the national wealth. Or 338 billion euros. This is actually (much) less than the five largest fortunes in the country.

4Olivier Véran (LREM) evokes a drop in unemployment “by one million”: imprecise

“We have reduced unemployment by a million [de personnes].”

Olivier Véran, Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament

on “France 2022”

The Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament and Democratic Life, Olivier Véran, defended the results of Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term in terms of employment by using a formulation imprecise, which does not say whether it refers to the number of people who have found a job or to the jobs created.

As we explained last January, France has created one million jobs since 2017. But since there have also been job destructions, this does not correspond to a net drop in unemployment.

There are actually 527,000 fewer people in category A (without any activity) since the third quarter of 2017, according to Pôle emploi. If we also take into account people who have had a partial activity (category B) or a long reduced activity (category C) and who remain in active search, the overall drop in unemployment amounts to 357,000 people during the first five-year period of Emmanuel Macron.

5Jordan Bardella (RN) lends Pap Ndiaye comparisons between the current police and that of Vichy: false

“[Pap Ndiaye] compared [la police] to the French police in Vichy, who organized roundups of Jewish children during World War II.”

Jordan Bardella, acting president of the National Rally

on “France 2022”

On the set of “France 2022”, Jordan Bardella attacked the new Minister of National Education. The acting president of the RN assured that Pap Ndiaye had compared the police several years ago to that “of Vichy, which organized roundups of Jewish children during the Second World War”.

However, as explained Le Figarothe new minister (and historian by training) did not directly compare the current French police to those who led the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup, but simply mentioned this past. “When we look at the history of France, we must also look (…) at a history of the police marked by forms of colonial repression. Let us think of the war in Algeria (…) at the ‘Occupation and roundups of Jews carried out by the French police under the authority of Maurice Papon in Paris or Bordeaux’he explained in a video broadcast on Mediapart in June 2020.

6Foreigners can touch the minimum old age, assures Guillaume Peltier (Reconquest!): rather true

“A foreigner who has reached 65 in France, who has never worked, has never contributed, will receive Aspa [Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées]that is to say a pension of 830 euros per month.

Guillaume Peltier, vice-president of Reconquest!

on “France 2022”

The subject of immigration also animated the debates. The vice-president of Reconquest! sharply opposed Olivier Véran on the subject of the minimum old age. Guillaume Peltier assured that this allowance could be paid to foreigners. This assertion is true, contrary to what the Minister defends, but it deserves clarification.

In reality, the Aspa is a benefit granted to retirees, from the age of 65, with low resources and living in France. For a single person, the maximum monthly amount is 916.78 euros, and not 830 euros, as Guillaume Peltier advances. The scale was upgraded during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term.

Foreigners can benefit from it if they reside in France. But they must also “have continuously, for at least ten years, a residence permit authorizing work”. Refugees, stateless persons or nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and certain other countries are however exempt from this condition.

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