Below we publish an interview with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left wing formation Front Gauche in France . Jean-Luc Mélenchon participated in the French presidential elections earlier this year and received 11,1% of the vote. For more material on Mélenchon please read the following articles (Mélenchon as candidate of the Left Front – What campaign, on what programme? and Massive support for Mélenchon). The interview was first published in the French Marxist paper La Riposte.

Since François Hollande came to power in May, unemployment figures have increased every single month. They have now gone over the 3 million mark. If we add those people who are surviving on a few hours work but who are registered as looking for a steady job, these official figures rise to 4.5 million. It is estimated that another 1 million people are out of work but, not being entitled to benefits, they are not registered at all.

The defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential elections opens a new phase of the class struggle in France. The socialist candidate, François Hollande, won 51.62 % of the vote. However, this overall score tends to conceal the social basis of the election result. Practically all the major towns and cities voted massively for Hollande – or, to be closer to the truth, to get rid of Sarkozy.

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