French opposition says Macron ‘arrogant’: compromise to win support

  • Tories say coalition pact would be ‘treason’
  • President’s office says seeking constructive solutions
  • The far right says “we need to be heard”

PARIS, June 21 (Reuters) – French opposition leaders told President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday they would not make it easy for him as he sought a way to avoid political paralysis after a setback in the presidential election. this weekend in Parliament.

Some opponents have said Macron should fire his prime minister, revise his reform plans and abandon his top-down approach to power.

While enjoying full control of parliament for the past five years, Macron now needs to find support from opponents, after voters angry at inflation and his perceived indifference delivered a parliament on Sunday. suspended.

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The election result could herald an era of political instability unprecedented in decades in France.

Senior ministers said the government would continue its work and seek the support of parliament whenever it needed a majority.

Edouard Philippe, Macron’s former prime minister and influencer, urged the parties to form a coalition to secure a ruling majority. It would be a first in modern French politics.

“For the first time in France, we have to form a coalition, a large coalition of people who spontaneously do not want to work together and who propose different political programs,” Philippe told BFM TV.

He said he could “imagine” striking a deal with conservative Les Républicains, Philippe’s former political family from whom he defected after Macron’s first election in 2017.

But Republican leader Christian Jacob said after meeting Macron: “I told the president that making a coalition deal was out of the question, it would be a betrayal of our voters.”

Previously, Jacob had called the president “arrogant”.

But cracks began to appear in his camp. Catherine Vautrin, a member of the Republicans who had been cited as a likely choice as Macron’s new prime minister, urged her party to soften its stance.

“Do all Republican lawmakers share Christian Jacob’s view? I’m not so sure,” she said. “Always being in opposition is useless.”

Her camp could find common ground with Macron on planned reforms, including on pension legislation, she said.

The Republicans offer Macron the most obvious place to find support. Their economic platform is broadly compatible with that of Macron, including his plan to raise the retirement age from three years to 65.

Jacob said his party would be “responsible”, seemingly opening the door to potentially messy bill negotiations.


The pro-European president, who wants to deepen European integration, make the French work longer and build new nuclear power plants, wants talks this week with the opposition “to identify possible constructive solutions”, said indicated the Elysée.

If Macron fails to garner support to pass laws, France could face a long period of political deadlock that could later force him to call a snap election.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, a hard-left veteran who united the left in an alliance that won the second most MPs, told reporters that Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had to leave.

“We are just wasting our time,” he said.

The Elysee Palace said Borne tendered his resignation but Macron refused so the government could continue to work.

No quick fix appears to be at hand and from Thursday Macron – who has not spoken publicly since the election – will be distracted by a week of international meetings abroad, including EU summits. EU, G7 and NATO.


Marine Le Pen, whose far-right National Rally now has 89 MPs, up from eight in the previous legislature, said Macron needed to hear what his party had to say and “cannot continue the policy he has conducted (so far)”.

Olivier Faure, leader of the Socialist Party, who joined the left-wing Nupes bloc ahead of the election, said his party could back some policy proposals – but only if Macron took their ideas into account.

“We had a so-called Jupiterian period where the president decided alone and where he was not responsible to anyone,” Faure told reporters.

“From now on…he’s forced to accept a bigger role for parliament…and it’s pretty healthy for him to be accountable, to negotiate, to seek points of agreement.”

According to Communist Party Secretary General Fabien Roussel, Macron is considering forming a government of national unity and has asked him if he would participate.

“It’s not something that shocks us – to participate with others in the reconstruction of France – but it all depends on the project,” Roussel told LCI.

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Additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Ingrid Melander, John Irish, Tassilo Hummel, writing by Ingrid Melander and Richard Lough; Editing by Alison Williams, Angus MacSwan and Richard Pullin

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