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'Does he think we are idiots?' - La France périphérique sours on Macron
"The main consequence of this for Emmanuel Macron is there will be a `before' and an `after' the Benalla affair. For several months now there has been a segment of the electorate - between 35-40% - who have doubts about Emmanuel Macron but continue to have confidence in him. It's a kind of wait and see how he does attitude. This segment he will lose," Cautrès [from the Sciences Po research institute] said.

More seriously than damage to his image, the scandal has derailed Macron's key constitutional reform, including changes giving greater power to the president at a time when some in France believe the Benalla affair shows he already has too much. The controversial legislation was to be discussed last week; instead it was postponed while parliament was suspended and MPs formed a cross-party commission to quiz key players in the scandal.

The commission then plunged into disarray as opposition MPs - including the joint-chairman - walked out accusing the Élysée of blocking the inquiry and sticking two fingers up to democracy.

Consequently, the scandal, and its undertones of an Élysée that considers itself above the law, has sounded like an alarm, Cautrès said, making it unlikely Macron will be able to push through the reform. "It's going to be complicated for him," Cautrès added.

by Bernard on Fri Jul 27th, 2018 at 06:40:46 PM EST

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