- Title: Parisians divided over Fillon's French conservative presidential ticket win
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) FRONT PAGE OF FRENCH NEWSPAPER "LE FIGARO" WITH PHOTOGRAPH OF WINNING CANDIDATE IN FRENCH RIGHT'S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, FRANCOIS FILLON, HOLDING HAND ON CHEST, READING (French): "OBJECTIVE: THE ELYSEE" (PRESIDENTIAL PALACE) / FRONT PAGE OF FRENCH NEWSPAPER "LE PARISIEN" WITH PHOTOGRAPH OF FILLON HOLDING HAND ON CHEST, READING (French): "COMPLETELY TO THE RIGHT"
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 08:59
- Keywords: Fillon Juppe Le Foll Philippot election France vote primary conservative
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ACXWSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE THIS EDIT CONTAINS A WHITE FLASH IN SHOT 15
Parisians were divided on Monday (November 28) in their reaction to the comfortable win of Francois Fillon in the French centre-right's primary on Sunday to choose their 2017 presidential candidate.
Fillon, a former prime minister who wants to raise the retirement age, cut back social security and scrap the 35-hour working week is the favourite to win a presidential election five months from now against the popular far-right and a deeply divided left.
A flash opinion poll after his primaries victory said he would easily beat National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is widely expected to qualify for the second round of the country's presidential elections.
But to do that, the 62-year-old admirer of late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher now faces the challenge of bringing voters behind a programme that promises radical change.
"The winner, he (Fillon) represents the traditional right, a modern representative of the right that we have seen in Europe with (former British Prime Minister David) Cameron, with others like that. I think it's interesting," Parisian Marc told Reuters Television.
French civil servant Helene said his win made her fear for her job, after Fillon has said he would cut 500,000 jobs in the civil service, while passer-by Thomas said he was "delighted" over his success.
"All the Champagne socialists out," he added.
Fillon's proposals could alienate centrist voters, handing a glimmer of opportunity to French President Francois Hollande, his Socialists, and the broader French left. But after five torrid years in power, marked by rampant unemployment and a series of Islamist militant attacks, the Socialists and the broader left are deeply divided.
"The left have to mobilise," left-wing voter Christophe said.
Fillon plans to slash public spending by 100 billion euros over five years, scrap a tax on the wealthy and push the retirement age to 65 as well as increase VAT sales tax.
Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Fillon's proposals were "brutal" for the country.
"A plan has been put on the table, and this plan is brutal for France and French people, and they don't deserve it," he told Europe1 radio.
French National Front's deputy leader Florian Philippot said the candidate represents "unchecked globalisation" and that his Thatcherite views are outdated.
"It's not about going backwards to the 19th century with its social brutality, the world's movement is Brexit, the world's movement is Trump - that means borders, nations, states, protectionism and patriotism," he said during an interview on French broadcaster BFMTV.
Opinion polls have for months forecast that the centre-right candidate and Le Pen would qualify for the second round of the presidential election in May and that Le Pen would then lose.
But polls, which had until just days before his victory failed to forecast Fillon's comeback, are taken with an increasingly big pinch of salt.
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