Senator LR from Vendée Bruno Retailleau, one of the possible right-wing candidates for 2022, warns against “poverty” linked to the health crisis. And exclusively offers Parisians its measures to soothe their suffering during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Jean Castex announced that non-essential businesses could perhaps reopen after December 1. Is that a good prospect?
BRUNO RETAILLEAU. The government should say and clearly assume that they can reopen on December 1. No serious epidemiological study shows that opening small businesses is riskier than opening large surfaces. It is necessary to reopen on the basis of a reinforced protocol, for example according to the number of square meters and it is necessary to give the hand to the prefect to territorialize the measures. We cannot remain in limbo for another fortnight. Many traders and freelancers are on the verge of breaking down.
What do you suggest to help them?
Today, in terms of commercial leases, the owner-lessor collects a three-month security deposit. I propose that this deposit allows traders to stop paying rent for three months. This deposit would be reconstituted in the next two years. Still for traders and the self-employed, many of whom are confused, an SOS Covid emergency number is needed per department which makes it possible to group together all the services that can take charge of economic and social emergencies.
Jean Castex is not up to the situation?
He is driven by a sense of the general interest, but he has two balls in his foot. That of technocracy which enacts rules which often defy common sense. How do you understand that you can buy a bottle of wine from a wine merchant, buy your pack of cigarettes from the tobacconist and be prohibited from setting foot in a bookstore to buy a book? The other ball of Jean Castex is the judicialization of our society. The ministers are paralyzed by the criminal risk. I was shocked by the searches at 6 a.m. at Olivier Véran’s home, in the midst of the pandemic’s management. In a democracy, you have to be accountable, but it has to go to Parliament and the voters, not to the courts.
The health crisis is also causing a social crisis …
The epidemic wave rises but the social wave rises even stronger. Poverty is not confined. If we do nothing, we will have hundreds of thousands of new poor. We have young people who paid for their studies with odd jobs and who no longer have them. We do not have the right to look away from this reality. The virus is also the virus of indifference.
What do you propose ?
I am proposing a zero-charge emergency-youth contract that would allow young people to be paid in return for local and solidarity jobs. It can be tutoring vis-à-vis high school students, help with nursing homes, distribution of food aid … But we cannot be satisfied with only vertical solidarity, of the state type. Families and associations, in times of crisis, are social shields. For families, I propose a “family shield” which would consist in extending, at least for one year, the allowances up to 23 years (against 20 years today) and to allow the accumulation of family allowances and APL. I also propose to pass the tax deductions for the donations to associations fighting against the great precariousness from 75% to 85% and to increase the ceiling giving right to a deduction of 1000 to 1500 euros for the individuals.
Nicolas Sarkozy proposed Friday evening a “moratorium” on immigration. What do you think ?
It’s not sufficient. On the subject of immigration, we must stop taking half measures, we must not apologize for wanting to defend what we are. Let us abandon the semantic convolutions. There is an urgent need to immediately take, as other European countries have done, strong measures, and to speak clearly. Today as tomorrow we must stop illegal immigration, deport more but also reduce family reunification and medical tourism. Immigration took hold without the French having been consulted. We will have to give the people a voice on this subject.
Do you agree to the postponement of the regional events until June?
Yes, it is consensual. But this consensus could be shattered if the government introduces an automatic review clause which would be the mark of its insincerity because it would allow it to extend the deadline further and further. If the sanitary conditions deteriorated further, a law passed by Parliament would be needed, not a review clause.
Does this postponement have an impact on the timing of the nomination of a right-wing presidential candidate?
Of course, this shows once again that we have to anticipate and that we cannot let ourselves be tossed around in the water by events that we do not control. More than ever, by the end of 2020, we must choose a tie-breaker in order to be able to start things very quickly after the regional ones.
The president of the Christian Jacob (LR) party does not appear on this calendar …
It would be wrong to believe that we have already lost the presidential election. We do not have the right to resign ourselves: our convictions and our voters deserve to be defended! Nothing is ever written in advance. A primary would allow LR to regain control of the situation on the right and center. It would also make it possible to generate momentum, by giving a voice to our activists and sympathizers.
In a recent podcast, you say “Joe Biden’s world will be the same as Donald Trump’s.” For you, Biden and Trump, is it white beanie and white beanie?
It will fundamentally change nothing about what the United States of America really is and about its relations with France and with Europe. With Biden, the form will be more civilized but the President of the United States, whoever he is, will first look after American interests in the same way. I remind you that the increase in taxes on Chinese tires is Obama, not Trump! Europe must learn to be firm with the United States, whoever its president is.