Macron faces “la cohabitation”

Macron minister

The impressive victory in presidential elections does not secure power of Emmanuel Macron, who should gain an impressive number of votes in upcoming legislative elections, 11.06.2017, to be able to realise the package of reforms proposed to his compatriots.

Among the ballots dropped for Macron a considerable amount were transferred from Republicans (Gaullist) – centre right and lesser from Socialists, – both mainstream parties endorsed their support to create a ‘barricade’ against the rival anti-globalist Marine Le Pen.

However in legislative elections every political congregation will struggle for proper seats, and it is highly probable that the Republicans will enter the coalition with En Marche!  to get the comfortable majority. In this case the Republicans will impose their Prime Minister on Macron. The ‘coexistence’ (or ‘la cohabitation) of a President and Prime Minister from different political parties is not new to French political system. In case with the Republicans (centre right) and En Marche! (centrist) of Macron it would be easier functional tandem than la cohabitation Chirac/Mitterrand (Gaullist vs. Socialist).

However, the real challenge for President Macron’s plans of reform will not come from his political opponents, but the powerful syndicates, which had already opposed ‘Macron Law’ when he served as a Finance minister, attempting to modernise and liberalise economy.  The syndicates did not hesitate to take their protests to the streets.

Attempting to reform stagnating French economy, as a minister Macron was blamed to hinder traditional French life-style, and worker’s rights, even dominical work of shops  has been largely seen as an attack on Christian traditions, especially in French rural areas.

The entering Élysée Palace as such does not give a cart blanche to reform profoundly archaic French society. The presidency of Francois Hollande was fractured when  then prime minister Manuel Valls unveiled a second pro-business reform in 2016 that allowed bosses to fire and hire workers more easily, leading to eruption of massive and violent street protests. Holland’s popularity has never risen since. Forced to give up the claims for the second mandate, the stepped down from the scene of history.  But now the pain of his departure soften by his successor, his minister, of his dauphin.

Le roi est mort,  vive le roi!

 

 

 

 

French ‘Revolution 2017’

Marion et Marine

The major conclusion of the first round of the French presidential election is the marginalizing of the two major political parties: centre left and centre right – the Socialists and the Republicans – sharing power through the history of the V Republic. The period  of their reign came to the end, closing the whole chapter of the post WWII political development, which is a revolutionalry change as such.

The other crucial outcome of the elections is the evolution of the Front National from a marginal force into a main stream and, moreover, number one political party, because En Marche! of Emmanuel Macron is a rather broad movement, but not a classical political congregation one can regard as a party with an ideological core.

En Marche! is a young movement, which is captivating the protest moods of the French youth, disappointed in the major political forces, however there is no classical political congregation behind him. En Marche! is not represented in the Assemblée Nationale – the parliament, so even elected, Macron would find himself in a difficulty to deal with the other experienced political forces like Republicans, Socialists, and now, very likely, the Front National. This difficulty would be only aggravated by his lack of experience in dealing with the French political system.

On contrary to En Marche! Marine Le Pen leads a solid and well-defined political force, with a comprehensive plan for governing  the country.  One of her strongest points is a programme of defeating terrorism through curbing mass-migration, ending the system of double citizenship, revoking French citizenship from involved in terrorism, etc.

Till now Macron did not explain how he is going to addressed the security concerns of the French citizens, while keeping open door policy. This is one of the multiple inconsistencies in his programme. In case he will not be unable to guarantee the security, and the terroristic acts will continue to devastate public life, the position of Marine Le Pen will be solidified, and she will continue to raise in ranks.

The  failure of a big experiment called ‘Emmanuel Macron’, will not resurrect the Republicans or Socialists, who had a chance to govern the country already, and in case of the Republicans for a long period of time, but bring the electorate to a conclusion, that the only political force that had not had a chance to show its capabilities to ‘save France’ is Front National.

In the next presidential election the frustration in ‘Macron experiment’ might lead to the necessity to continue the experimental way.  If French are so disappointed in politics that they turned to unjustified belief in a miracle of Macron ‘The Savor’, what will prevent them to put their trust in Marion Marechal Le Pen as ‘The Maid of Orleans’?..

Anna van Densky

France voting for the future

Marine Le Pen votes

France goes to the polls on Sunday for the first round of a dramatically polarized presidential election, crucial to the future of the European Union, and the destiny of the continent.

Nearly 47 million voters will choose between a pro-EU centrist newcomer breaking away from the incumbent Socialist government, a scandal-ridden veteran conservative eager to slash public spending, while accused in indulging himself in public funds spending for private gains, a far-left eurosceptic, exercising a classic repertoire to blame all the misery of the world to the rich, or France’s first woman president, promising a U-turn from globalism to nation-state.

The  latest polls indicated the two major contestants: Emmanuel Macron et Marine Le Pen, with a real battle promised at the second round of elections, while struggling to attract the electorate of the other candidates, fallen out of the race.

The rivary for the crown of the French ‘elected king/queen’ will be for the senior electorate, increasingly numerous in aging France. Remarkably seniors vote more than average,  and subsequently are over-represented among voters. The attraction of the older generation of the voters, who are characterized by specific political choices, will become a real challenge for both Le Pen and Macron. However it would not be easy for the latter, as the senior citizens have an inclination to vote a conservative political programme, and are closer to traditional values.

So far Marine Le Pen showed more understanding for the needs of the senior citizens; on the strong side of Macron  is contact with the youth, and diasporats/ immigration, especially from Muslim countries, who see in him a solid ally.

However any chosen candidate will face the  need to conquer the parliament –  Assemblée National, and the mega-challenge of dealing with French syndicates – powerful trade-unions, who keep under control economic development in the country, and the endeavours of  presidents, irrespective their political convictions.

Fillon liberates the way to Le Pen

fillons
Photo: illustration Francois and Penelope Fillon in better days
When Mr.Fillion was singing a lavish allowance to his wife from a public fund he couldn’t have guessed what an effect his misplaced generosity would have on the cause of European history. If before #PenelopeGate the majority of French were sure Fillon is their next president, after the scandal the wheel of fortune definitely moved away from him. The downfall of the front-runner gave to Marine Le Pen’s chances to become next president of the V Republic, changing her candidate status from ‘probable’ to ‘highly probable’. The ascendancy of Front National leader to Élysée Palace will certainly initiate the fundamental reshaping of the European project, so much feared by the keepers of EU dogma.

The sudden “misfortune” in the form of preliminary investigation in the prosecutor’s office that brutally changed the fate of the front-runner of the French presidential elections Francois Fillon, recasts the whole of political performance just a couple of month before the J-Day.

Many observers point out that French electorate is quite used to a fact of public fund abuse and flourishing nepotism in the political cast, so they can not be surprised by one more scandal, because they have seen so many. However this time there is a particular case because while generously filling the family budget from the public funds, Mr.Fillon called for austerity policy for his compatriots – the hypocrisy that destroyed his reputation forever.
The jungle of politics follows its laws, scavenging on what is over from Fillon’s reputation, the public opinion is upgrading in ranks Front National Marine Le Pen, and a newcomer – semi-Socialist Emmanuel Macron, from now onwards two most probable candidates to confront in the second round of elections.
If before the #PenelopeGate the battle between Fillon and Macron was considered to be difficult to latter because of lack to the governing experience, the competition with Marcon profiles Le Pen to her advantage. As a career politician she is heavy-weight next to Macron-banker, and short time finance minister of the most unpopular president of the V Republic. Not the best of the references so far. However his very recent political record would not encourage many to experiment with Mr.Macron as a president of the country, already hugely disappointed in the management of his Socialist boss.