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France fails to send out European election statements as millions expected to abstain

media Panels await posters outside a polling station in France AFP/François Guillot

As many as 60 per cent of French voters may not bother to go to the polls in Sunday’s European election. The figure may be boosted by a failure to send out election manifestos, as required by electoral law.

The hard-left Left Front, which includes the Communist Party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Left Party, on Friday revealed that some voters have not received leaflets outlining party’s lists and politics in the post as they usually do.

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In the Saint Denis district north of Paris the local council admits that about 10 per cent of envelopes sent out do not contain all the candidates’ election manifestos.

In Paris many people have quite simply not received any envelope at all.

The Left Front blamed cuts in public services and the privatisation of the distribution procedure.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The Communist Party also claimed the government wants to discourage voters from expressing opposition to its “austerity policy” and President François Hollande’s “submission” to the budget treaty negotiated by his right-wing predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The failure to send out information is serious, Anne Sabourin, a member of the executive board of the European Left Party and a candidate in the Paris region, told RFI.

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