Back to the wall, Macron tries a “ratatouille”
After losing the parliamentary majority, the French president offers his political adversaries a coalition. A release – in the water?
Macron had been silent since the last Sunday of the election – and thus indirectly showed how the defeat in the legislative elections had caught him off guard. Thursday evening, he tried to regain the initiative with a festive appearance on television.
He firmly recognized that his camp no longer had a majority in the National Assembly. It therefore depends on the support of other parties. “They must now say how far they want to go,” urged the isolated president: “Either they enter into a coalition, or they support us text by text”.
Both have so far been rejected by other parties. During individual meetings at the Elysée Palace, Macron is said to have even suggested that the group leaders form a “government of national unity”. This would allow him to remain at the center of political events, since the head of state chairs the weekly government meeting in Paris.
But what looks like a way out of the political blockade on paper is in fact totally illusory: the left-wing Nupes alliance of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (131 seats in parliament), the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen (89 seats) and the pro – Europeans Emmanuel Macron (245 seats) have nothing in common politically.
Macron talked about “compromises” on television, but also made it clear that he would stick to his tax cuts and raising the retirement age. The Nupes Link Alliance demands the exact opposite. After Macron’s speech, Mélenchon said that Macron’s idea would only produce “ratatouille”, i.e. an unprecedented political hodgepodge.
That’s why the left-wing populist – like Le Pen – doesn’t even think about helping the unpopular minority president out of trouble. Communist leader Fabien Roussel also said after his meeting with Macron, after asking him about the idea of a unity government: “I immediately replied to the president: ‘It’s out of the question. There is has such a climate of mistrust towards you!'”
Deepest bitterness about Macron
Even conservative Republicans have no desire to support Macron with their 61 seats. And not only because the idea of a grand coalition is completely foreign to the French majority. The passion with which Republican leader Christian Jacob rejected Macron’s offer speaks to the moderate right’s deep resentment toward a president whose poaching tactics nearly wiped out their party.
Macron’s speech to the nation should therefore not break the political deadlock. By addressing the nation directly, he almost gave the impression that he was trying to circumvent Parliament. Because the new center of power in Paris is no longer the Elysée, but the National Assembly.
During Macron’s first term, she always approved the models of the Elysée thanks to her absolute majority. But now, the three blocs of left, right and macronists are neutralizing each other there, which risks causing bitter conflicts. Even after the television appearance, how Macron wants to govern and reform France for the next five years remains a mystery.
And where is the prime minister?
It was all the more striking that the Head of State did not mention a word from his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in the nearly ten-minute speech. The 61-year-old Social Democrat has been at the head of the government since the presidential election, that is to say for a good month. She is only the second woman to hold this position after Edith Cresson, who had not even reached 11 months in 1991.
Borne’s days at the Hôtel Matignon, the seat of government, seem numbered, according to Parisian insiders. She failed to live up to the expectations placed on her, it is said with the same arrogance to which Cresson had succumbed. Because so far Borne had not had the opportunity to prove his ability to govern.