Europe

French centrist candidate Macron: I'm not a bubble

Emmanuel Macron, candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections of the "En Marche" movement participates to the Construction Forum debate "reinvest France" ("Reinvestissons la France") at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Emmanuel Macron, candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections of the "En Marche" movement participates to the Construction Forum debate "reinvest France" ("Reinvestissons la France") at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is pledging 60 billion euros in spending cuts and 50 billion in stimulus programs as he starts to reveal his long-awaited platform.

The 39-year-old independent, who has never held elected office, also pledged to tackle corruption and nepotism and ban lawmakers from hiring family members.

In an interview Friday with Les Echos business daily, Macron promised 60 billion euros in spending cuts over five years, notably in health care and unemployment benefits. He would also make 50 billion euros in investments, for example in training. He pledged to stick to France's deficit targets.

Countering those who say his popularity is based on image alone, Macron insisted Friday on BFM television that "if I were a bubble, I would have exploded already."