As the French prepare to go to the polls for the first round of the presidential elections, People & Power investigates some of the social and economic issues at the heart of the election. High unemployment and rising racial tensions have dented French self-confidence, which the presidential candidates are now fighting to recover.
|Homelessness will be a key issue to |
tackle for France's next president
While the far-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has been a consistent front-runner in the polls, political commentators say the outcome is still uncertain. The surprise candidate has been the centrist contender François Bayrou, who has clawed his way up to third position. Some believe that he can now beat Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal to the second round.
Part of Bayrou's campaign has criticised the heart of the French establishment, ENA – the school which trains many of its business and political leaders. In our first film, we dissect France's most powerful educational institution.
Many believe that France's biggest problem is getting young people to think and act in a more business savvy way. Entrepreneur may be a French word, but can it become a French concept? Our second film looks at the ability of entrepreneurship to kick-start the French economy.
In our final film, People & Power examines homelessness. The country will need new business dynamism, if its economy is to reduce the number of homeless people, and raise employment. France has adopted a new law, guaranteeing a right to housing for everyone - but is it a worrying burden on the economy, adding to the substantial state debt?
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