Wednesday , October 21 2020
Home / Tag Archives: Art Goldhammer: French Politics

Tag Archives: Art Goldhammer: French Politics

Separatism or Diversion?

Share the post "Separatism or Diversion?" I’ve been quiet for so long that some of you must have concluded that this blog had ceased to exist. The political situation here in the US has been so anxiogenic that it has been hard to concentrate on France. But Emmanuel Macron’s speech today on the subject of “separatism” has awakened me from my slumbers. It signals, if nothing else, the beginning of the 2022 presidential race and tells us something about how Macron plans to...

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The EU Survives

Share the post "The EU Survives" European summits are odd affairs, in which the high and mighty are reduced to pulling all-nighters, like second-year students obliged to endure a college bull session–which by some accounts these meetings resemble. There are the conciliators and the prima donnas, all duly described by the EU press, which must wait outside closed doors through white nights in the hope of catching word of the irritation of Leader A, the witty repartee of...

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The Castex Government

Share the post "The Castex Government" Emmanuel Macron’s self-reinvention did not get very far. The just-appointed Castex government is as unexciting as the new prime minister himself. After Philippe, Castaner and Belloubet were shown the door. Darmanin was moved to interior. Le Maire, Blanquer, and Le Drian remain in their posts. So what distinguishes the new government from the old? Nothing, really, except that Macron is no longer the young man in a hurry who was...

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Macron bis has begun

Share the post "Macron bis has begun" There should be no surprise about Macron’s dismissal of Édouard Philippe: any prime minister who is more popular than his president is ripe for sacking. And it is doubtful that Philippe would have been so assiduous about regaining his mayoral post in Le Havre if he had expected to be kept on. Still, he had demonstrated a quiet competence that might have counted for something. But perhaps Macron wanted to avoid any possibility of his...

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Green Wave?

Share the post "Green Wave?" Yes, the Greens did very well in yesterday’s Covid-delayed second round of municipal elections. They captured some major prizes: Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, and, most surprisingly, Bordeaux. They retained Grenoble. They came close to winning in Lille, the fiefdom of former Socialist PM Martine Aubry, and Toulouse. In short, a fantastic showing in all of France’s largest cities, save Paris. They have the wind in their sails–or should I say...

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Mediapoliticking Comes to France

Share the post "Mediapoliticking Comes to France" A movie star and a reality-TV buffoon have won the presidency of the United States in recent years. Is it conceivable that the mantle of Charles de Gaulle will devolve upon a 9/11-denying film clown like Jean-Marie Bigard, a televisual vulgarian like Cyril Hanouna, or a provocateur of the infotainment circuit such as Éric Zemmour? The French media are full of speculation that one of these men might challenge Macron in...

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The Future of the EU: Too Many Plans, Too Many Hands

Share the post "The Future of the EU: Too Many Plans, Too Many Hands" There are now numerous Covid rescue plans on the table for European leaders to consider. There is no need to run them down here because Prof. David Cameron of Yale has provided an excellent summary of their provisions. Briefly, the central bone of contention is whether EU assistance will be provided in the form of loans, ultimately to be reimbursed by member state recipients, or as grants. In both...

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Virage à 1 km–mais à droite ou à gauche?

Share the post "Virage à 1 km–mais à droite ou à gauche?" The pandemic has presented Emmanuel Macron with an opportunity. He can now reimagine his presidency without appearing to have been forced into retreat by the Gilets Jaunes and opponents of his retirement reform. The first moves have already been announced: more resources for hospitals, including long-demanded and long-resisted salary hikes and new hires, plus an 8 billion euro bailout for the auto industry. With...

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A Long-Awaited Breakthrough?

Share the post "A Long-Awaited Breakthrough?" It took a pandemic, but Germany’s Angela Merkel has at last agreed with French president Emmanuel Macron that a fiscal response to the crisis is necessary, that it will be achieved by increased spending from the common European Union budget, and that it will be financed by common European debt. As Le Monde says, this is nothing short of a “revolution”: Mais le fait que le couple franco-allemand se soit mis d’accord sur les...

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Macron at Midterm

Share the post "Macron at Midterm" These are difficult days for political commentators. Politics-as-usual has given way to quarrels over the Covid-19 response. Commentators can choose one of two courses: concentrate on the errors, inevitably plentiful and satisfyingly concrete, of the powers-that-be, or speculate about the unknown and unknowable future, which offers an enticingly blank canvas to be filled with figments of one’s political imagination: Will it be...

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