“The parties say how far they can go”. The President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, three days after the electoral collapse, he presented himself on live TV for a ten-minute speech and addressed the political forces. After the legislative elections on Sunday 19 June, the head of the Elysée lost an absolute majority in the Assemblée Nationale and now, compared to the last mandate, he will have to find an agreement with the individual parties. Speaking on the evening of June 22, Macron ruled out the hypothesis of a “Government of national union” on which he had consulted the parties yesterday, most of them opposed. And he launched “a new method”, based on “compromises”: “The parties – he said throwing a sort of ultimatum and throwing the ball back into the field of the opposing leaders – say how far they can go”.
Macron seemed to want to somehow fight back. The government of national union is “not justified”, there remains only the choice of “learning to govern in another way”, that of “Seek a wider and clearer majority”. Translated concretely into a system that has never before known these difficulties, the president’s wish can mean a broad coalition with “external” supports or a path along which to find “case by case” support to pass reforms and measures in parliament.
The road is still uphill for the government coalition, which is missing 44 votes to have an absolute majority. And, to date, no concrete signs of a reliable collaboration have come from the Républicains – the moderate right. Throwing the ball back into the opponents’ field, Macron gave a sort of 48-hour ultimatum: “How far they are willing to go” they will have to say “when I come back”. That is, in two days, when Macron will return to France from European Council: “Since my return from Brussels we will continue to build this new method”. Which will be based on “compromises, enrichments, amendments, but all this always in total transparency”. Because, he admitted, “no political force can make the laws alone today”.
From the Elysée gardens, Macron recorded the speech just about ten minutes before the TV airs, at 8 pm. It is the signal that until the last he tried to polish the nuancesthe openings, with tones unknown to him in the first term, when he enjoyed a majority of 341 seats out of 577. He had to admit the “Fractures” emerged in these elections, the “desire for change that the country has clearly expressed”. He paid tribute to the political leaders he met yesterday in the first consultations and who, without exception, “have expressed their respect for our institutions and their willingness to prevent our country from being blocked”. Then he immediately thought – quoting them – a “Germany, Italy”where these scenarios of political uncertainty are more common.
Immediately, “since this summer”, the president announced, “we need a law for purchasing power and for work to be better paid“. And again, “moving towards full employment, strong choices on energy and climate, urgent health measures”. What was the most important reform for him disappeared, that of pensions, which he will certainly have to renounce. And not even a hint of the premier Elisabeth Bornewhich at the moment has been confirmed but whose future hangs in the balance, as he recalled immediately after the speech by Macron, the leader of the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “The prime minister must appear in the Assembly and ask for trust. If she doesn’t get it, she has to go. “