Dhe national anthem sounds, most television stations fade in the Elysée Palace. It’s 8 p.m. in France and the President is addressing his compatriots in a solemn speech. The ritual seems as monarchical as ever, but Emmanuel Macron’s message is an entirely new one. “We must learn together to govern differently and to enact different laws,” he says. It is the first time the President has addressed the French since losing an absolute majority in Sunday’s general election.
The voters were slapped in the face. The president, who loved the role of Republican monarch, wants to start over. “We have to forge new compromises through dialogue, listening and respect,” he says. He promised that at the public dialogue after the yellow vest crisis, but then quickly forgot it.
Macron does not mention the extreme right
On Wednesday evening, Macron turned his attention to Europe, “to other western democracies”, where it has long been the case that no one party alone can enact the laws. He lists Germany and Italy. He addresses a coalition pact or changing majorities. “It will be possible to find a broad majority to act,” he says. He wants to prevent a permanent blockade. “Our country needs ambitious reforms.” The additional spending on health care and climate protection, as well as the emergency measures in the face of high inflation, cannot be financed through more debt or higher taxes, he warns. Macron expects the various factions in the National Assembly to disclose “in full transparency” “how far they are willing to go”.
From the talks with those responsible for the most important parliamentary groups, he got the impression that cooperation was possible. Macron does not mention the extreme right. He also received Marine Le Pen for an interview at the Elysée Palace. Several leading voices from the presidential camp, including Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti, had not wanted to rule out cooperation with the far-right Rassemblement National (RN). Europe Minister Clément Beaune firmly opposed it: “We will not conclude an agreement with the Rassemblement National.”