- The European elections are held on May 26 in France.
- In this context, 20 minutes publishes a series of head-to-head interviews.
- Ian Brossat, candidate of the French Communist Party, believes that the European Union must break with its treaties "which advocate free and undistorted competition and austerity."
He hopes to leave Paris for Strasbourg. Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of the capital and head of the list of
Communist Party for the
European poll of 26 May, answered questions from 20 minutes sure
this election. He explains why he believes that this election is "a referendum on liberal policies in France and Europe".
You defend "measures contrary to the liberal logic of the European treaties". But these treaties can not be reformed without the unanimity of the leaders of the European Union. How will you do it?
Initially, Europe is a good promise. Peace, prosperity and democracy. But in reality we have the economic war, 87 million poor and the power of the lobbies. We were sold Flipper the dolphin and we end up with the shark Sea teeth.
It is time to turn the page of this Europe of money and finally build Europe of people. This implies breaking with the logic of these European treaties which advocate free and undistorted competition and austerity. I am convinced that we can achieve this by the balance of power.
This balance of power, is it playing out in the European Parliament?
The European Parliament has real expertise. A few years ago, the European Union wanted to eliminate food aid, and Communist MEPs allowed the European Parliament to save this program, which supports three million people in the EU. This is a concrete example that shows that the European Parliament is useful and that the communist deputies in Strasbourg are also useful.
Useful, but to revise the treaties, this is not enough, it requires the unanimous agreement of the European leaders.
First, we must get rid of European treaties. It is time for states to stop complying with the European Commission's injunctions, as the Portuguese government has done. By disregarding the logic of treaties, we establish a balance of power that will allow them to be rewritten.
You will resign from your position at the Paris City Hall if you are elected in Strasbourg. Is it at the European level, more than at the local level, that your ideas are most likely to be realized?
I decided to get involved in this campaign because I was confronted with an experience that showed me that things are happening at the level of the European Union. In Paris, as an assistant in charge of housing, I fight to regulate Airbnb, with legislative tools to prevent certain neighborhoods are invaded by tourists, to the detriment of the inhabitants.
Airbnb has finally turned to the European Commission. The company financed three full-time lobbyists in Brussels. As a result, all our local regulations risk being simply challenged by the EU. So if we want things to change in France, they have to change in Europe. And there must be uncompromising men and women at the EU level vis-à-vis lobbies.
You propose to reform the missions of the European Central Bank (ECB) and place it "under democratic control". This would require amending its statutes at the level of the European Council. How do you plan to do it?
Beyond the question of the revision of the statutes, I propose that the ECB make loans at 0% interest for public services, as it did for private banks, to which it paid 3,000 billion euros. in ten years.
On public services, you propose to extract them from European competition law. That is to say ?
We should be able to play a non-social regression clause. The EU must accept that there may be different economic models within it. France has no vocation to question its model because it does not please the other Member States. On public services, the EU intervened to impose a call for competition. This did not benefit users. For example, in energy, prices have increased by 70% since the first liberalization directives of 1996.
For this election, the offer on the left is quite scattered. How are your list and program different from other lists on the left?
First, the Communist Party never voted for the ultra-liberal European treaties. We have never explained that we would build a social Europe with these treaties. Secondly, we are the only party that can allow the election of a woman worker in Strasbourg, Marie-Hélène Bourlard in second place on our list. When we know how much the European Parliament is now dominated by the forces of money, I think it would be good to have a working woman with such responsibilities.
So it's a symbol?
Yes, and also the belief that it can be useful to carry the voice of the world of work. It has been 30 years since there was a female worker in the European Parliament.
Speaking of symbolism, some believe that you embody a form of renewal in the PCF, that you give it a new lease on life, by your age, and also by the fact that you are an elected official who has made public his homosexuality.
There is nothing strategic about me. I am as I am, I assume what I am. What matters to me is to carry values in which I believe, and if it can help give the Communist Party a boost, all the better.
Is this European vote a vote for or against Emmanuel Macron's executive and politics?
It is a referendum on liberal policies applied in France and in Europe. I do not distinguish European policies from national policies. They are the same. Mr. Macron's policy is a photocopy policy. He echoes the recommendations of the European Commission, on the non-increase of the SMIC, the pension reform. So the European elections are an opportunity to say stop these liberal policies that have degraded our lives for many years.
Can there be a convergence between the communist electorate and the "yellow vests"?
Yes, because the demands of the "yellow vests" are long-standing claims: the rejection of social injustice, the need to increase the minimum wage and small pensions, the support for single-parent families, the restoration of tax justice with the return of the ISF, the RIC …
Other lists, left and right, say the same thing as you. Is there not some political recovery?
It must be honest to say that the movement of "yellow vests" is a diverse movement, driven by men and women of different political persuasions. But we must judge ourselves on our actions. The Communist Party has always been committed to the defense of the world of work and children. We have not discovered social and fiscal justice in this movement.
Did you feel "yellow vest" at some point in the movement?
Yes, even if it depends what one means by that. I was on November 17 with Fabien Roussel (national secretary of the PCF) on the Leclerc car park of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux to discuss with "yellow vests". Yes, I share 100% of the social anger that was expressed at that moment.
Ecology irrigates the whole European campaign, all the lists claim it. You say that she has always been part of communist DNA. Why, and what will your priorities be in the European Parliament in this area?
You can not call yourself an ecologist and preach the law of profit. To protect the environment, it is necessary to leave liberal logics. Since 2006, and the implementation of the rail freight liberalization directive imposed by the EU, the transport of goods by trains has been divided by 2.5. So there are 2.5 times more goods moving by other means, including the road, with trucks that pollute. We propose to double the share of rail freight in the EU. This implies investing 30 billion euros, or 1% of what the ECB has paid to private banks in ten years.