Monday, July 8, 2024

Economics Minister fears "decline": Macron is counting on Attal as Prime Minister

Tagesspiegel Economics Minister fears "decline": Macron is counting on Attal as Prime Minister 1 hour • 2 minutes reading time Gabriel Attal should remain Prime Minister to ensure the stability of the country, says French President Macron. After the new elections, it looks like it will be difficult to form a government. Attal should continue to support Macron for the time being French President Emmanuel Macron is initially sticking with Gabriel Attal as Prime Minister. "The President has asked Gabriel Attal to remain Prime Minister for the time being in order to ensure the stability of the country," Macron's office announced on Monday. Attal had offered his resignation, but also declared his willingness to remain in office on an interim basis if necessary. Macron's center camp was replaced by the new left-wing alliance as the strongest force in parliament in the parliamentary elections on Sunday. However, the left did not win an absolute majority. The right-wing nationalist Rassemblement National came in third place. Due to the sometimes extremely different ideas of the individual camps, it is becoming difficult to form a government. A phase of political instability is looming. France's economics minister warns of "decline" In view of the unexpected election victory of the left-wing alliance, France's economics minister Bruno Le Maire has warned of an impending "financial crisis" and an "economic decline" in France. "The implementation of the New Popular Front's program would destroy the results of our policy over the past seven years," Le Maire said on Monday in the online service X. Their program is "excessive and inefficient." Related video: After the election in France: What's next for Macron? (dpa (video)) The left-green electoral alliance New Popular Front surprisingly emerged as the winner in the second round of the parliamentary election with around 180 seats. The government camp lost its previous majority and slipped from 250 to around 160 seats. The right-wing populist party Rassemblement National (RN), which according to polls could have expected a majority, came in third with around 140 seats. This means that none of the three camps has achieved a majority capable of forming a government. An absolute majority requires 289 of 577 seats in the National Assembly. Le Maire called on the political forces to prevent a "blockade" and to address the concerns of the approximately ten million voters who voted for the right-wing populist party Rassemblement National. "All political forces that believe in the market economy, the rehabilitation of public finances, the energy transition, the construction of Europe and the restoration of state authority must overcome their party interests," stressed Le Maire. He thus joined the representatives of the government camp who are looking for possible coalition partners. France has so far had no experience with exploratory talks and the negotiation of a coalition agreement. The most likely partners - such as the Socialists or the Republicans - rejected such plans on election night. Macron is expected to postpone the complicated process of forming a government until after the Olympic Games. (Reuters, AFP)