Emmanuel Macron Wants To Lead Europe. Now, He Must Focus on France

French President Emmanuel Macron hoped his April reelection would cement his position in power and bolster his agenda. But Macron was dealt a major blow during Sunday’s legislative elections in France.

Macron’s centrist alliance won 245 seats—more than 40 short of the 289-seat threshold needed for a majority in parliament, critically undermining his ability to pass key reforms. Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s leftist alliance, Nupes, scooped up 131 seats, while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party came in third with 89 seats, a ten-fold increase. The parliamentary make up lies in stark contrast to the prior legislative vote in 2017, where Macron’s alliance won a 350-seat majority. The result marks the first time since the 1980s that a president will govern without a parliamentary majority.
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Here, what the vote means for Macron’s agenda:

Domestic reforms to face roadblocks

Although Macron’s alliance is the largest group in parliament, he will struggle to pass his most controversial reforms—including an overhaul of the pension system and raising the retirement age from 62 to 65—without negotiation and compromise. Mélenchon has pledged to lower the retirement age to 60, while Le Pen has promised to maintain the current threshold, and reduce it to 60 for those who started working before the age of 20.

“Macron is not accustomed to, as we say in French, ‘put water in your wine’—making compromises,” says Alice Billon-Galland, a European policy research fellow at Chatham House. “It will take a lot of his time and energy to build consensus bill by bill, and that will tie his hands in terms of what he’ll be able to achieve.”

And with such large opposition groups on opposite sides of the political spectrum, Macron will find himself “between a rock and a hard place,” says Philippe Marliere, professor of French and European …read more

Source:: Time – World


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