Gérard Larcher incisive. In an interview with La Tribune, the President of the Senate did not hesitate to take a direct stand against the budgetary policy of the President of the Republic. With the health crisis linked to Covid-19, the government had implemented a “whatever the cost” policy to help French companies and employees cope with all health constraints.
Since then, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, has said he wants to end this policy to make way for more austerity. A will that does not seem to translate into action for the President of the Senate. “Almost not a day goes by without the President of the Republic announcing new spending. Savings are unfortunately rarer,” he told our colleagues.
However, despite the significant public spending, the Republican explains that he does not see any improvement. “We have both the highest public expenditure rate and the highest compulsory levy rate in the EU. The French no longer consider public services to be up to their expectations. This reveals a serious problem with the efficiency of the expenditure. In terms of housing, for example, we spend, as a proportion of GDP, twice as much as the European average while being faced with a housing deficit. This cannot go on any longer!”, he articulates.
In his eyes, Emmanuel Macron is even the most spendthrift president of the Fifth Republic. “During the first five years, public spending increased by 240 billion, including 60 billion excluding COVID. The government announces an increase of 220 billion for the next five years. The trend is twice as fast as under François Hollande”, continues Gérard Larcher.
According to him, this policy could lead to a serious crisis.
In this situation, Gérard Larcher assured that he would not vote for the public finance programming bill. “The Senate’s request is clear: we must control public spending, otherwise we risk experiencing a situation like Greece. We will only vote for the programming law if it carries a clear, ambitious and credible path of the public deficit”, he declared in the columns of La Tribune.
Recently, the name of the President of the Senate has been circulating actively to take over from Elisabeth Borne at the head of the government. But with all the criticisms he has made of the Executive, could he accept such a proposal?
Asked about the rumors about a potential appointment to Matignon, Gérard Larcher replied “in the state of our differences, I would refuse such a proposal”. In his eyes, an alliance between Renaissance and Les Républicains could not be born on a simple appointment.
“To relaunch the five-year term with a coalition, you need a shock through a new election – presidential or legislative – with behind an electoral agreement and a very clear government contract.”, he thus estimated.