we verified six assertions from the debate between Gabriel Attal and Jordan Bardella

The president of a party leading the polls facing a Prime Minister. Two weeks before the European elections, Jordan Bardella, head of the National Rally list for the June 9 vote, debated live with Gabriel Attal, Thursday May 23 on France 2.

During this exchange, the two personalities clashed on several themes: economy, ecological transition, energy, agriculture, immigration and even international relations. Gabriel Attal tried on several occasions to confront his counterpart with the contradictions of his party, while the RN candidate castigated the European record of the majority. Franceinfo verified six assertions made during this highly anticipated debate.

1 Marine Le Pen declared herself against nuclear power, according to Gabriel Attal: true

Jordan Bardella explained that he wanted to make France a new “energy paradise” based on nuclear energy, a proposal which appears in its program. The candidate took the opportunity to criticize the majority’s record, accusing it of having closed the Fessenheim power plant: “There was a French asset (…) which was our nuclear fleet. Through the national policy that you conducted, particularly under the first five-year term, you considerably weakened our nuclear policy”he castigated.

“Marine Le Pen declared herself against nuclear power, particularly for security reasons”, retorted Gabriel Attal, which Jordan Bardella immediately denied. However, the Prime Minister speaks the truth: in 2011, three months after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, in 2011, she declared on France Inter that the exit from nuclear power was “an objective that must be kept in mind because it is an extremely dangerous energy.” During the 2017 campaign, she then supported nuclear power, judging that as it stands, renewable energies cannot do without it. Questioned that year in “L’Emission politique” on France 2, about this development, the former presidential candidate nevertheless declared: “It’s a fact: nuclear power is dangerous”.

2 The reform of the European electricity market will lower the cost of energy in France, according to Gabriel Attal: to be qualified

In a context where private electricity bills remain high, the European Parliament adopted in April a reform of the European electricity market, which must come into force in 2026. One of the objectives is to make the market this energy more affordable, more stable and more sustainable. “This reform which finally allows us to decouple the price of electricity from the price of gas will reduce the cost of energy in France”, anticipated Gabriel Attal. Indeed, the increase in the price of gas following the war in Ukraine has caused the price of electricity to rise, because of a system known as “economic precedence”, which aligns the price of electricity with that of of the most expensive energy.

It is true that the text of the reform provides for a mechanism allowing Member States, in the event of a crisis, to “take temporary measures to fix electricity prices for SMEs and energy-intensive industrial consumers”, specifies the Parliament website. However, outside of a crisis, “the reform does not affect the fundamentals of the European market. If the price of electricity is not indexed to that of gas, it is still largely dependent on it”, recalls the specialized information portal on the EU All Europe, founded by the European Commission and the French government. As the reform has not yet entered into force, it is difficult to predict its effects.

3 Canadian beef can flood the European market with Ceta, according to Jordan Bardella: false

Jordan Bardella was critical of the Ceta, a controversial free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. He was particularly concerned about a potential threat of a surge of Canadian beef in Europe. This agreement provides for the possibility for Canada to export 65,000 tonnes of this meat to the EU without customs duties. But this quota is far from being reached: in 2023, the EU imported only 1,400 tonnes of Canadian beef, or around 2% of the authorized quota.

“Today’s export quota [du Canada] it’s 2%. That is to say, there is a 50 times greater potential in terms of exports in the single market. anticipated Jordan Bardella. “Even if they saturate their quota (…) do you know how much Canadian beef that would be in circulation in Europe? 0.7%”retorted the Prime Minister.

To reach its export quota, Canada would also have to fundamentally transform its beef industry, which is mainly treated with hormones. “It would take a wave of a magic wand. But let’s imagine that they reach 60,000 tonnes, that’s 1% of European consumption”says Vincent Chatellier, economist at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRAE) with franceinfo. An order of magnitude which is in line with that given by the Prime Minister.

4 France has reduced its CO2 emissions by 6% in 2023 according to Gabriel Attal: true, but to be qualified

“Yesterday, I announced the final figures for CO2 emissions in France last year. Almost 6% reduction, this is unprecedented, it has never happened in the history of our country”, welcomed Gabriel Attal. On Wednesday April 22, during a trip to Mayenne, the Prime Minister announced a 5.8% decline in greenhouse gas emissions in 2023. Regarding CO2 alone, the drop is even 6.9%. %, according to figures published by Citepa, an organization establishing each year a national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollutants.

But these figures deserve to be qualified: according to Citepa, the drop is partly explained by the rise in energy prices, inflation, and the mild winter temperatures, which have reduced the use of heating. Road transport has also declined due to the price of fuel.

This reduction remains, moreover, below the objectives set by Paris. France aims to reduce its emissions by 50% (-55% net) by 2030 to comply with the commitments of the European Union climate plan and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

5 Europe prevents foreigners from being pushed back to Menton, according to Jordan Bardella: it’s more complicated

“European jurisprudence, which was transposed by the Council of State, prevents the border police officers of Menton from turning back people who arrive in France, they do not have the right to do so”lamented the head of the National Rally list. “There have been 3,000 pushbacks at the Menton border since the start of the year”replied Gabriel Attal.

Jordan Bardella refers to a decision of the Council of State of February 2, which annuls part of the Code of entry and stay of foreigners and the right of asylum (Ceseda), which allowed the police to refuse entry to foreigners who arrived irregularly, within a few hours.

Indeed, it is a question of complying with European Union law, guaranteeing a minimum of rights to foreign nationals: “If a foreigner is not able to prove his right to travel in France, he may be detained for verification purposes,” specifies the Council of State, but only “the time strictly required for the examination of one’s right of movement or residence”. The procedure is clarified, with the possibility for the foreign person to request a lawyer, or to apply for asylum. If this ruling does not prevent the refusal of entry of migrants, its effects on the ground have not yet been the subject of a statistical evaluation.

6 77% of rapes committed in Paris are committed by foreigners, according to Jordan Bardella: misleading

“77% of rapes and sexual assaults committed in Paris are committed by foreigners”insisted Jordan Bardella. “These are the figures from your ministry.” Is this figure, also shared by the head of the Reconquête list Marion Maréchal at the end of April on the set of C à vous, real? As Désintox points out, this statistic comes from an article published on April 18 on Europe 1, based on statistics from the Paris police headquarters relating to rapes committed in the streets of Paris.

Out of 97 rapes committed in 2023 in the streets of the capital, 30 were solved. Of the 36 people arrested, 28 are foreign nationals, which is equivalent to 77% of those accused. Rapes committed in the streets are often committed by homeless or undocumented people, categories in which foreigners are over-represented.

However, street rapes represent only a small minority of all rapes committed in Paris, as in the rest of France. These figures cannot therefore be extrapolated. At the national level, foreigners represent 13% of those accused of rape, according to the latest report from the statistical service of the Ministry of the Interior on sexual violence outside the family.

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