the next president

The Next President



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pull remain by comparison
pledge celebrate far-reaching
reform quarter bottom line
rate malaise unemployment
debt stand (3) expenditure
fiscal exceed ambitious
follow holding implement
public liberalize trade deficit
cut (2) restraint challenge
fund propose benefit (2)
elect long run forward-looking
sector reduce renewable
aim free up qualification






The next president of France: Emmanuel Macron, former investment banker.

Business is celebrating his win.

Under Macron, Europe’s second largest economy will remain in the EU.

Macron has pledged to pull France out of its economic malaise with a far-reaching reform program. He plans to gradually liberalize the French labor market.

Youth unemployment is a major problem: a quarter of people under 25 are unemployed and without job training.

In Germany by comparison, the youth unemployment rate is 6.7%. But the highest youth unemployment rate in Europe is in Greece.

The next problem is government debt, which stands at 96 percent of GDP. For years expenditure has exceeded income.

Macron has promised to implement fiscal restraint and follow Germany’s example in reducing debt.

There’s a further challenge: unlike Germany, France has a trade deficit. The bottom line is that exports are too low, while spending on imports is too high.

Macron’s solution is to reduce public debt with cuts to public spending on health and unemployment benefits.

The 39 year old also has ambitious investment plans: he’s proposed freeing up the funds by selling off the state’s holding in car makers Renault and PSA group.

The president-elect says he wants to spend 60 billion Euros on forward-looking economic policies this year, reducing youth unemployment and improving qualification programs — primarily in the digital economy and the renewable energy sector.

In the long run, Macron aims to make France a stronger partner in the EU as its neighbor, Germany.

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1. Emmanuel Macron is a career politician. True or false?

2. Is he pro or anti EU?

3. Macron is in favor of the status quo. Is this right or wrong? Does he plan on making reforms?

4. What are the statistics on youth unemployment, public debt and trade deficits?

5. How will he tackle debt?

6. Does he plan to nationalize or privatize businesses?

7. Will he put the greatest emphasis on university education?


A. Since Macron won the election, he will have an easy time implementing his proposed reforms. What do you think?

B. Would everyone support his programs? Who would support him and who would oppose him?

C. France should follow the German model. Do you agree?

D. What is the economic situation in your country?

E. Are there any challenges or problems? What are the solutions?

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