Monday, June 17, 2024

France enters election mode after the victory of the far right in the EU elections

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Emmanuel Macron announced new elections in France on Sunday. Photo: Hannah McKay / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 10.06.2024 11:43:31

Policy: With his unexpected decision, Macron hopes to regain his majority in the lower house of the National Assembly. But the plan is risky, and if it ends in another defeat for the president and his allies, the far right could gain much more influence.

– This will be the most significant election for a new national assembly for France and French people in the history of the Fifth Republic, says Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire to the radio station RTL.

The first round of the new elections will be held on 30 June, less than a month before the Olympics in Paris start. The second round of voting will be on 7 July.

Analysts believe Macron’s decision aims to make the best of his weak position, regain the initiative and force the RN into election mode sooner than they would have liked.

– We didn’t think it would happen immediately after the elections to the EU Parliament, even if we wanted it to, says Deputy Chairman Sebastien Chenu of the RN to RTL

– He has been elected to the EU Parliament and has already been crowned by the people. He is the one who will lead our election campaign, says Chenu.

Bardella, who has over 1.2 million followers on Tiktok, plays an important role in the party’s efforts to attract younger voters. In 2022, he was elected as the new leader of the RN after his mentor Marine Le Pen.

With Bardella in the lead got RN 31 percent of the votes in the EU election on Sunday. That is more than twice as much as the scant 15 percent of Macron’s coalition.

Today, Macron’s Renaissance party has 169 out of a total of 577 representatives in the French lower house, while the RN has 88.

– I have confidence in the ability of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations. My only ambition is to be useful to our country, which I love so much, writes the French president on the messaging service X.

When he dissolved the National Assembly on Sunday night, he said that the rise of nationalists is a danger to France and to all of Europe.

– No one expected that France would call elections for a new national assembly in the wake of the EU elections, so the shock factor could weaken the euro and the European stock markets at the beginning of the week, says research director Kathleen Brooks at trading platform XTB.

The French stock market index CAC 40 fell by more than two percent at the opening, before recovering somewhat. Around 10.45 the stock exchange was down 1.75 per cent. The DAX 30 in Frankfurt was down 0.68 percent.

The result is difficult to predict and will probably depend on how motivated voters on the left and centre-right are to block the far right.

Chenu urged right-wing elected officials outside the RN to bolster the party’s ranks in the fight to beat Macron’s centre-right coalition. At the same time, Chenu announced that the 28-year-old party leader Jordan Bardella will also be the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

Macron said Monday morning that he trusts French voters will “make the right choice” in the announced new election.

Macron’s announcement of new elections on Monday affected both the euro and the stock markets in Europe.

(© NTB)

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