PARIS - The election of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande as France's new president has sparked deep concern across Europe on challenging austerity policies to head off the eurozone financial crisis.
Here are selected highlights provided by Reuters from Hollande's policy program.
* Hollande opposes an economic policy based only on austerity and has promised to renegotiate the European fiscal compact to include provisions on jobs and growth;Hollande Win Casts Shadow on EU AusterityHollande Wins France Election
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* Although he has pledged to balance public finances by the end of 2017, Hollande has also said he will adapt that target if growth is weak and will not sacrifice France's interests to meet it. His deficit-reduction measures include reversing tax breaks and introducing new taxes which he says will bring in an extra 29 billion euros of revenue;
* Hollande plans 100 billion euros in savings by 2017. Half is to come from new revenues, of which 20 billion have already been voted in, and half is to come from reducing spending by limiting growth in public expenditure to 1.1 percent per year;
* At the same time, Hollande has outlined 20 billion euros of new spending over five years, including restoring the right to retire at 60 for those who began work at 18. He plans to hire 60,000 more educators over his term and 1,000 police a year, and create 150,000 state-aided jobs to tackle youth unemployment;
* Hollande would target the rich with a 75 percent tax rate on income above 1 million euros a year and a 45 percent upper tax rate for those earning over 150,000 euros. He would limit executive pay at state-owned companies to 20 times the lowest wage, cut the presidential salary by 30 percent and index the country's minimum wage to economic growth;
* Hollande aims to fight discrimination with sanctions for companies failing to offer equal pay, a Ministry of Women's Rights and the attribution of half the ministerial posts in his cabinet to women.
He would also remove the word "race" from the French constitution and open a parliamentary debate on immigration quotas. He backs gay marriage and adoption;
* Like Sarkozy, he is promising to curb financial excess by separating retail and investment banking and imposing a financial transaction tax. He wants to ban toxic financial products and stock options, curb bonuses, create a European ratings agency and stop banks working in offshore tax havens;
* To promote industry and jobs, Hollande will create a public investment bank to support small enterprises and industries of the future. Companies investing in France and keeping production local will receive public aid and financing. He also plans to help major corporations shift production back to France and will cut tax rates for small and medium companies;
* To boost youth employment he proposes a "generation contract" that reduces social charges for companies who hire young people on open-ended long-term contracts and at the same time keep a senior worker employed till retirement.
* He wants to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the power supply to 50 percent from 75 percent by 2025, and has promised to close the ageing Fessenheim nuclear plant but complete work on the advanced Flamanville EPR power station.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net