Nathalie Arthaud, the other far-left candidate

 

The first great debate of the political campaign gathered the five candidates we have been seeing everyday on the cover of newspapers and on television. However, behind the spotlight, there are six other official candidates who we must not forget, also here to defend their programmes. 

 

Nathalie Arthaud is the official presidential candidate for the far-left workers’ party, Workers’ Struggle (Lutte Ouvrière). This is the name that the French Trotskyist political party Communist Union is known as after the name of their weekly paper.  She became their spokesperson in 2008 while she was a high school economics teacher. Arthaud still holds that job today.

The party has been a part of the political landscape since its creation in 1956 by Robert Barcia. Its origin lie in the Trotskyist Group, which was created to defend workers’ rights in factories, until former the Renault employee Barcia gave it its political status as Workers’ Voice.

In 1969 the party was banned because it supported the Students Revolt of May ‘68. After that it became Workers’ Struggle and was led by its emblematic leader Arlette Laguiller.

Arthaud has always considered herself the main communist candidate in presidential election, despite the existence of the French Communist Party represented today by Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

 

“ We need to take money from the ones who have the most to reduce the gap between the the working class and the rest of the population.”

 

It is not Arthaud’s first presidential campaign. She was the party’s candidate during the 2012 election where she only won 0,56% of the votes.

The party’s programme, as given away by the name, focuses on defending the rights of the working class. This includes raising the minimum wage up to €1,800 per month and asking for more transparency from some of France’s top companies that she calls the “big capitalists bourgeois”.

One of her main policies is to prevent “mass dismissals” from big companies to lower the unemployment rate and to lower the age limit for retirement to 60 years, as opposed to 62 today. Finally, she wants to increase the current tax on the wealthy, a measure she considers essential for the French economy.

 

PHOTOPQR/LA DEPECHE DU MIDI

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