French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Thursday to resist ‘political Islam’, which he said is a threat and seeks succession from the republic, Anadolu reports.
He stressed that he would be “uncompromising” in his approach to what he defined as a “political Islam” within France that sought to break with the rest of the country. “Political Islam wants to secede from our republic,” he said, asking the government to be “intractable” against it.
Macron also noted that France’s 1905 law on secularism has been effective and should continue to be implemented. “Nowadays when we talk about secularism, … we’re talking about the clannishness that has crept into some neighborhoods in our republic…we’re talking about the people who, in the name of religion, are pursuing a political project that wants to secede from our republic,” he said, referring to Muslim communities in France.
Macron also said he would push to more strictly control the overseas financing for some organizations.
Speaking in a gilded hall at the Elysee Palace, seated behind a white desk with the French tricolor and European Union flags flanking him, Macron took reporters’ questions for nearly two-and-a-half hours, part of an effort to redress the rocky relationship he has developed with the media.
He apologized – not for the first time – for his sometimes sharp tongue and cutting comments, which have earned him a reputation for arrogance and contributed to a deep slump in his popularity ratings, which are showing some signs of recovery.
Almost two years into his five-year term, and following a national listening tour, the prime-time event was also Macron’s attempt to quell nearly six months of “yellow vest” anti-government protests that have shaken his authority.
Macron said he wanted a significant cut in income taxes, saying it would be worth around 5 billion euros, financed by closing loopholes for some companies.
The tax cuts come as France is trying to keep its budget deficit in check, while at the same time hoping to rid itself of a reputation as the world’s most highly taxed country. Figures from the OECD show France’s ‘tax-take’ is equivalent to 54 percent of gross domestic product. Along with the tax relief, Macron said government spending would be squeezed and the French would have to work longer to build up social contributions, an announcement that is unlikely to be popular in a nation known for its 35-hour week.
“We must work more, I’ve said it before,” said the 41-year-old president, a former investment banker and economy minister, who is renowned for tiring out his staff. “France works much less than its neighbors. We need to have a real debate on this.”
This article has been modified from its original source: Middle East Monitor and Aawsat
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