⛏️The Weekly Dispatch - Political Faultlines
20 November 2022 - There's a fracture within Renaissance, Anne Hidalgo takes a swing at Rachida Dati, and it's looking like there could be energy blackouts in January
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⛏️A fracture within Renaissance
With the recent launch of Renaissance, the official party that took the place of La République en Marche, the plan was for two other parties within the presidential coalition, Territoires de Progés (left-wing) and Agir (right-wing), to merge into the party.
On its side, Agir, led by current Minister Delegate for Parliamentary Relations, Franck Riester, merged into Renaissance with ease, but it’s looking like Territoires de Progrées has other ideas.
With less than ten days before their congress, where they “must validate its political merger with Renaissance”, fifteen members of the party have suddenly quit in what appears to be a political gambit.
They criticised the “renunciation by the current leadership of TdP of its initial project: to participate in a refoundation of the social-democratic left in our country", underlining the necessity of sticking to this position.
A big part of this, it seems, is due to the NUPES coalition giving off the impression that it’s losing its cohesion, and therefore potentially allowing space for a social democratic party to come back and pick up the pieces of the Parti Socialiste. However, for Gilles Savart and Yves Durand (TdP), they seem to be more interested in the ideological fight:
“[NUPES] is not part of the heritage of the humanist, secular, democratic and European left which has strongly marked the French social model of its imprint…We draw the consequences of this new political landscape to the left of the presidential majority by resigning”
With the plan being to initiate a rapprochement with the Progressive Federation in the short-term, they dissidents nonetheless left the door open to continued cooperation with the presidential majority:
"Supporters of Emmanuel Macron from the first hour, we will continue to work towards a broad gathering of all the social-democratic and pro-European components of the French left, looking to the future, and towards a rapprochement between the republican forces against the risk extreme choices in the next elections”
The interesting part of this new division is that, as far as we’re aware, Francois Hollande is continuing his plans to resurrect the faltering Parti Socialist, either in the form of a takeover sometime soon, or, alternatively, by creating a movement that would allow him to either recreate the republican, pro-European left in his image, or to crush the pro-La France Insoumise faction and regain control.
🥊Anne Hidalgo attacks Rachida Dati
With her not-very presidential 1.75% result falling further and further into the rear-view mirror, it’s looking like Anne Hidalgo (PS) is regaining some of the attitude that, historically at least, made her popular to many on the left.
This week saw her take some pot-shots at her Paris mayoral rival, Rachida Dati (LR), during her session opening speech, and while the Républicaine was not in the room:
“For months, and again this morning, in the newspaper Liberation , we have had articles reporting on outside activities for which Rachida Dati is indicted for passive corruption and concealment of abuse of power. Presumption of innocence, of course, but it's disturbing. I say it solemnly: we have the right to know. We must be informed by Rachida Dati of these activities.”
The scoop? That Dati has been found to have supposedly close links with the Private intelligent unit of Parisian football club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on top of a previous indictment for her advisory services to infamous Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
However, while she may have seen an opportunity in her rival’s absence, one of Dati’s colleagues, mayor of the 16th arrondissement, Francis Szpiner, was there to defend her:
“The press is not justice. And saying it to someone’s face is better. Anne Hidalgo knew that Rachida Dati was in her office. In substance and form, I do not find it very suitable” going on to accuse Hidalgo of carrying out “a diversionary manoeuvre in relation to the appointment of her new assistant”
With Hidalgo being criticised for having 32 assistants, even from within her coalition, and having to rely on the pressures of commission appointments being taken away from them (such as the greens), there are several openings that are beginning to be opened up and which could be used to attack the mayor.
These, on top of the ongoing criticisms related to what the #SaccageParis movement calls the destruction of Parisian beauty, and which this writer would agree, are leaving the doors wide open to opponents like Rachida Dati, who will be eyeing future opportunities within her Party, as well as beginning preparations for the 2026 Paris Municipal elections.
And Hidalgo currently doesn’t look like she’ll do too well in four years.
⚡Stress on the French energy system
While things have been looking positive energy-wise across Europe, this week saw a warning coming out of the French energy sector that could make people think twice about their current consumptions habits.
The Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), France’s electricity transmission system operator, warned this past Friday that there was a high risk of stress/tensions across the French electricity network this coming January.
The culprit? The slower-than-expected restart of the EDF nuclear reactors that had been shutdown, which means that the risk of the alert signal requiring triggering will be “high in January, but will largely depend on weather conditions and the possible occurrence of even a moderate cold snap"
One result of this is that the RTE will potentially call on the French population to reduce their electricity consumption in January, or risk potential power cuts.
Currently, expectations are that only 40 GW of energy will be available from the nuclear power sector, less than the 45GW predicted back in September, which equates to roughly 70% of total nuclear power capacity.
Whether looking at your energy consumption or gas consumption habits, it’s always good to look into how we approach our own usage, which is why it’s not the worst idea to look into Home Energy Management Systems if you have the opportunity.
At least, that’s what this writer is doing when he’s not raiding UNIQLO for thermals and jumpers.
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Thanks for the recap. I liked your passage on TdP (not) merging with Renaissance. That's something to watch in the future.
Less energy for making baqueets in order to support Ukraine ;)