💥 The Weekly Dispatch - Engine Combustion?
30 October 2022 - An explosive fight between Macron and Scholz, Renaissance turns towards studying salaries, and Les Républicains face an existential crisis.
The Weekly Dispatch is your weekly summary of the major events taking place in French and European politics, published on Sundays in order to give you the perfect way to catch up with current affairs.
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💥 Franco-German Combustion
This week saw the (current) peak in the fight that has broken out recently between the French state, led by President Emmanuel Macron, and the German state, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
With this fight having an impact on the EU’s ability to react to crises and ensure it’s independence over the long-term, I broke down exactly why this is happening in a recent article:
You can also see a discussion that I had on Al Jazeera English below!
Let me know what you think! I’m happy to hear from you all about where you think the problems lie between France and Germany, how you think it could be fixed, and where you think we’re going soon.
💶 Renaissance turns towards French salaries
With the ongoing cost of living crisis, no end to the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine in sight, and a need to make the life of Europeans easier, the Presidential party has moved in a direction that they hope will please the citizenry: Salaries.
During the party bureau meeting this week, Gérald Darmanin brought the topic up and launched a discussion on the ongoing crisis: “people are taking inflation to the face. The state is doing its part, but it must also turn to the bosses” he argued, calling for the launch of a “great salary conference” that would be used to pressure bosses to raised wages and pay themselves what he called “decent” salaries.
Not difficult to see a veiled allusion to the recent earnings of Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of TotalEnergies who earned c. €6 million, it’s easy to see that there is an understanding of the sense of injustice coming from the French people, who are struggling to pay energy bills and who recently had to suffer from a strike that prevented them from buying the gas that they needed to drive to work.
With Eurodeputy Pascal Canfin currently working on the topic of super dividends for the party, it’s clear that the party is starting to look to counter-balance the pro-business image that the party has, and to move to engage in the public debate that has, to this date, been monopolised by the left and the far-right.
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⌛Les Républicains’ existential crisis
Squeezed between the Presidential majority, the far-right, a hangover from the Presidential election disaster, and a legislative campaign that suffered several casualties Les Républicains are living through an existential crisis that is not easy to recover from.
With a smaller number of deputies since the last legislature, the party has seen itself with a reduced influence over discussions, but not completely side-lined. With an increasingly disruptive far-left, using the vehicle of the NUPES coalition, an increasingly present far-right led by Marine Le Pen, who is trying to finalise the de-diabolisation of the party, and an ever-present presidential majority.
And this is all playing into the upcoming December Républicains congress, where the part will pick it’s new leaders, who will take the reigns and do what they can to rebuild the party following the disastrous campaign of Valérie Pécresse, divisions within the party, and the potential takeover of the far-right.
Eric Ciotti, one of the candidates for the presidency with a hard-right, nationalist, political position, recently lost the presidential primary to Pécresse, and is currently running an “I told you so” campaign.
He is campaigning against the ‘liberal’, pro-European wing of the party, or whatever is left of it, to see who will be able to lead the party towards the 2024 European Parliament elections, create a common identity for all sides of the party, and hopefully, fight off the far-right and re-establish a more responsible, right wing.
Whether they will be successful, however, is an entirely different question, however, and the likelihood is we will see the same level of chaos that we saw under the Laurent Wauquiez presidency that led the way into the 2019 European Parliament elections.
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