The protestors of the ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow vest) movement have inflicted a humiliating defeat on French President Macron. He has been forced to climbdown and, in a Presidential tv address, has offered a series of reforms in order to try to head off the movement, including a €100 a week increase in the minimum wage.
By Jane West
The French presidential elections ended with Macron sweeping into the Élysée Palace on 66 per cent of the vote, and Le Pen roundly defeated. But this is the beginning, not the end. Macron has no alternative to the politics of austerity that have destroyed the Socialist Party, and therefore he will fail. His popularity will be short-lived and the fight between the left and the far right as to which will succeed in hegemonising the increasing alienated French electorate will break out with renewed force.
Notes from the front of 28-01-2017
On Sunday (tomorrow) we will know who will be the candidate for President of the Socialist Party (SP) after one month of debate. Following the first round of this selection two contenders remain: the leader of the SP’s left opposition Benoit Hamon who came first with 36 per cent ahead of the last prime minister Manuel Valls (30 per cent). This result was taken as a slap in the face by Valls, but what would you expect after five years of austerity, whipping up racism and imposing the state of emergency – three things he was a strong promoter of.
By Najete Michell
The results of the French départemental elections on 29 March were a devastating defeat for French President, Hollande’s Socialist Party (SP) government and a clear rejection of austerity policies.
In the wake of the grotesque and vile attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 innocents dead, there has been an understandable rush to not only condemn the attack but to gather under the principle of the “defence of freedom of speech”. Large demonstrations in Paris have taken up the slogan “Je suis Charlie” to express their defiance at attempts to intimidate journalists into silence.
By Najete Michell
Although the March elections in France were only at a local level, they took on a national character. They were the first elections since the Socialist Party (PS) formed the government in 2012 and were therefore the first opportunity to test the level of discontent at its record so far.