Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Left Front has emerged as the leading presidential candidate on the left of the French political establishment

By Alex Lantier in Paris

10 April 2012


Polls show him receiving roughly 13.5 percent of the vote, up from 6 percent in December. After organizing his March 18 “seize the Bastille” rally in Paris, he is holding a series of rallies across France.

News outlets carry continuous coverage of Mélenchon and his key social demands: a 20 percent increase in the minimum wage to €1,700 (US$2,230) a month, a 100 percent tax on income over €360,000 (US$472,000) per year, and the nationalization of banks and energy firms. He has called Washington the top international threat to the world and repeatedly denounced bankers.

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