Marine Le Pen (front, right) is seen at the National Front party conference in Lille, France, 11 March 2018. Le Pen proposed changing the party’s name to improve its image with voters. Photo credit: @MLP_officiel
The rebranding of France’s National Front party, and companies paying 9% less in tax since 2008. Today’s breakfast briefing.
National Front name change
Marine Le Pen, head of France’s right-wing Front National (National Front), proposed changing the party’s name to Rassemblement National (National Rally), said Deutsche Welle. The FN name was a “psychological hurdle” for many in France, she told a party conference. “Originally, we were a protest party… There must be no doubt in the eyes of all that we are now a governing party,” the Financial Times quoted her as saying. Le Pen has been trying to revamp the party’s image since last spring, when she won 34% of the vote in presidential elections.
Multinational tax rates down: FT
Large multinational corporations are paying much lower tax rates than before the financial crisis, according to an analysis conducted by the Financial Times. Effective tax rates dropped 9%, the FT found. “The results show that the corporate contribution to public finances has fallen since 2008 as a proportion of profits--whether measured by headline rates, reported effective rates, or the rates actually paid to governments,” the paper wrote.
CEOs split on post-Brexit flight rights
Airline leaders offered mixed views on the pending impact of Brexit at an industry conference in Brussels last week, according to Bloomberg. Britain must negotiate new agreements on routes between the UK and EU, and elsewhere. “The first industry over the cliff will be flights,” Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, was quoted as saying of Britain’s exit from the EU. On the other hand, Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, which owns British Airways, stated: “I am completely relaxed. I am confident that we’ll be able to comply with whatever regulations are put in place.”
Closed on Sundays
Most retailers were closed in Poland on Sunday, following passage of a new law that reverses a liberalisation from the 1990s, according to the Associated Press. Trading will be banned two Sundays a month this year, rising to three Sundays in 2019 and nearly all Sundays in 2020, except for holiday shopping periods. The law was introduced by the Solidarity trade union and backed by the Catholic church.
Women in Italian politics
“The image of women hasn’t really improved in Italy. It’s still rare to find women who have authoritative roles in the media and political system. On the contrary, things have gone backwards.” That’s according to Sofia Ventura, a professor of political science at the University of Bologna, quoted in The Atlantic. The magazine essay explored the under-representation of women in Italian politics, and why the #MeToo movement failed to take off in Italy.