“France is experiencing hunger again”: Jean-Luc Mélenchon launches his national campaign against the high cost of living

The leader of La France insoumise (LFI), candidate in the presidential elections, who remained on the threshold of the second round of the last presidential elections, is both on a trajectory of reconquest, campaigning “against the high cost of living”, and on a step back while his party is in full reflection on its internal architecture.

Why did you choose Clermont-Ferrand to launch your expensive campaign for a living?

Why not ? Here is Marianne Maximi, an MP who is an emerging figure in the National Assembly and in the rebel movement. And then Clermont is an emblematic city of the country’s problems of deindustrialisation and isolation.

You have put expensive life at the center of your communication: what are the news?

We have just waged a battle in the National Assembly to answer the problem of the high cost of living. It is deeply underestimated by the government, too attentive to the rich alone. It may not measure the violence of the shock suffered by the population.

France, in this phase of its history, is once again experiencing hunger and cold… As probably did not happen since the end of the war. When we join the general degradation of public services, we feel like we have crossed a threshold. In many families, children don’t go to the canteen because we don’t have the means! Of course, the municipalities are making efforts and there are recovery networks. But everything has gotten a lot worse! Municipalities bear increasingly heavy local costs and the state has withdrawn.

How do you see the price freeze as the solution?

Price freezing is a safeguard measure. When I proposed it in 2021, it was about avoiding contagion from one sector to another. If measures had been taken at the time, particularly with a minimum price for oil, electricity or gas, we would not be here.

I refer you to the cost of a shopping cart of everyday products to understand the violence of what people are facing. They fall into deprivation.

What would allow people to keep their heads above water is an increase in income, both through wages and through social minimums. There is no miraculous solution other than a fairer distribution of the wealth produced that aligns wages. We have proposed to raise the minimum wage to € 1,600. Why did Le Pen and Macron reject it?

In the ordeal that the country is going through, the time has come for sharing. France has concrete means of dealing with the situation. But Mr. Macron rejects them because it is against his pro-rich ideology

March against high prices and climate inaction: 140,000 participants according to the organizers, 30,000 according to the police (October 2022)

.What prices would you like to block?

Producers must also be remunerated. Obviously I am talking about basic necessities, both for food and for transport, because mobility is an absolute obligation for millions of people in our country. It is not true that there is an obligation that producers are, in the end, the ones who will pay the difference. Distributors have ample room for maneuver. We can clearly see the speculative mechanism.

Announce a device to recapture so-called peripheral France, where LFI did not establish itself during the presidential elections. What was missing?

LFI’s results in rural areas are not bad! There are areas where the land must be reconquered, but this also affects urban districts. I reject the idea that there would be a suburban France that would have been conquered and a country France that would not have been. People elected deputies there who took their seats from LREM or far-right deputies like in Creuse, Haute Vienne or Aveyron.

But the challenge remains there. All people who live far from the metropolis are increasingly in difficulty because the organization of the territory concentrates the basic necessities in the metropolis. There is a general overhaul of the organization of the country to be carried out.

You seem to be betting on a dissolution of the Assembly, what do you expect?

I don’t bet on anything. It was the President of the Republic who threatened him. We replied: “We are not afraid of the elections”. We think we can win in the second round if there are new elections.

In what role do you see Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the future?

What I keep. Be present, participate in the collectives that make decisions. No more, no less. I have always said that I remain a politically committed man. My position has changed, because I have decided not to stand as a candidate in the legislative elections, but this does not change the conditions of my commitment. This gets me back from the National Assembly, but it doesn’t mean back from political action.

Match. This Monday, November 14th, at 7pm, at the Maison du peuple in Clermont-Ferrand.

Anne Bourges
anne.bourges@centrefrance.com
Follow @a_bourges

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