dglobalnews.com French presidential debate lifts euro to six-week highs
Published: Wed, March 22, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

French presidential debate lifts euro to six-week highs

French presidential debate lifts euro to six-week highs

Centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was seen as the most convincing candidate among top contenders in the first televised debate on Monday, a poll showed.

Political parties of the Chadian opposition, civil society movements and representatives of the Chadian diaspora are protesting against the French politician's visit to the capital N'Djamena, describing her as a xenophobe.

The debate, the first between the five main contenders ahead of a two-round election on April 23 and May 7, could help viewers make up their minds in an election where almost 40 percent of voters say they are not sure who to back.

The debate covered a wide assortment of issues, like education, security, unemployment, ecology, work guarantees, the defense and institutional reforms, which allowed politicians to put forward their proposals, in a discussion where presenting their projects was the most important issue.

For his part, Fillon, took a long time to get into the debate and was mocked on France's Twittersphere for going missing in the first half, when many were left wondering whether he had even turned up. After a thinly veiled dig from Le Pen suggesting that the former banker would be beholden to financial lobbies if elected, Macron told her: "You'd be bored without me".

"It was the first time I was in front of him and I take my hat off to him because I have never met anyone who could speak for several minutes without actually putting forward any clear ideas".

Conservative candidate Fillon, whose campaign has been mired in a corruption scandal involving an allegedly fictitious political job he gave to his wife, championed quotas on newcomers that "do not affect asylum seekers, but other immigration".

Socialist candidate Hamon, 49, attracted a crowd of 20,000 to a Paris rally on Sunday, but with his staunchly leftist platform he is seen by many as representing the rump of a party in disarray. Ms Le Pen said France should oppose multiculturalism, but was accused by Mr Macron of making enemies of Muslims in the country.

People pelted with boiling rocks as Mount Etna erupts
Reports indicate that the tourists who experienced the eruption Thursday were in a zone where access is permitted with a guide. Mount Etna has been active for the past two days, creating a visual spectacle as it spews lava and ash into the air.

France's turbulent presidential campaign remained in focus for global investors, who have been concerned about the potential for a populist backlash following last year's surprise votes for Brexit in Britain and for Trump in the United States.

The Quotidien TV show said on Monday that Le Roux had paid a combined total of 55,000 euros ($59,455) between 2009 and 2016 to his two daughters as parliamentary assistants during summer vacations, starting from when they were 15 and 16.

Ms Le Pen said she did not want to be president of some "vague region of the European Union" or the "vice chancellor of Mrs Merkel".

Six other candidates were excluded according to Le Monde newspaper: Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Nathalie Arthaud, Philippe Poutou, Jacques Cheminade, Jean Lassalle, Francois Asselineau.

French voters will go to the polls on April 23 for the first round of the elections and on May 7 for the second.

Still with another debate to come involving all 11 candidates there is still plenty to play for and in this election race, anything could happen yet.

However, Fillon claimed that holding a Frexit referendum, as the National Front leader wants, would "drag the country into social and economic chaos".

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