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Interim French government named

by eurogreen Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 01:30:55 PM EST

After a comical period of suspense, when the annoncement of a new Prime Minister (which leaked rumours promised would be a woman and an ecologist) and of a government, were repeatedly pushed back (as various people apparently turned the job down), Macron finally nominated Elisabeth Borne, a classic technocrat, reputedly from the left because she had worked for PS ministers; reputedly ecologist because she had worked for Ségolène Royal!

In any case, as with the selection of Macron's parliamentary candidates, nobody is under any illusions as to her autonomy or personal agency. Everyone does whatever the boss thinks is a good idea at the time; that is the definition of Macronism.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

So, half of the outgoing ministers have been cut-and-pasted into the new government. All of the serious ministries have been given to people from the mainstream right :

Interesting to note, however, is how the `régalien` ministers - those in charge of the main governmental ministries - are on the right side of the political spectrum, with the exception of the Ministry of Justice.

Some important ministers of the outgoing government have been reappointed. Bruno Le Maire will remain at Bercy, managing the ministry of "Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty".

Gérald Darmanin was confirmed to head up the Ministry of the Interior and the outgoing Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, a former lawyer, was also reappointed.

A new face was installed at the Quai d'Orsay with the appointment of Catherine Colonna, who will take over the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. She had already been Minister Delegate for European Affairs between 2005 and 2007 when Jacques Chirac was the President, before being appointed French Ambassador to Rome and then to London.

So, Economy, Interior an Foreign affairs to right-wingers. Inexplicably (other than by arrogance), Macron has kept Dupond-Moretti as Minister of Justice, in spite of the fact that he faces indictment for interfering with the cours of justice with respect to dossiers he had handled as a lawyer.

Inexplicably (except see above), he has kept Darmanin, who is still under accusation for rape (according to his version, an exchange of sexual favours for his help in a court case).
Damien Abad, who was until a few weeks ago the chief of the LR (traditional right) group in Parliament, has been named Minister of solidarity. He, too, has been accused of rape.

But wait. Macron has maintained numerical parity between men and women in his new cabinet, by drafting in a bunch of women in junior positions. Standard.

The big news however, is the nomination of Pap Ndiaye, historian, as Minister of Education.  He is a well-respected commentator, identified with the left, and the diametrical opposite of the previous minister, Michel Blanquer, who has run a hysterical "anti-wokism" campaign as minister.
The contrast between the two illustrates Macron's ingrained cynicism. What does he care about education?

Ndiaye's nomination is designed to throw confusion into  voters' minds; perhaps he'll pick up a few votes from the centre left? Ndiaye presumably regards it as an interesting experience; I hope he has no illusions about getting anything done. His appointment has made him a lightning rod for heaps of absolutely-non-racist abuse, of course.

Nominating a government (and delaying doing so) has been Macron's way of occupying the news cycle while the election campaign for the legislatives ... doesn't happen. According to the national news media, nothing is going on. In reality, NUPES (union of the left) are the only people actually campaigning. Macron's people are generally keeping a low profile and waiting to be elected on his coat-tails.

Bruno Le Maire will remain at Bercy, managing the ministry of "Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty".

It is difficult to imagine any Minster being appointed to a Ministry with such a title in the UK, given the complete absence of an industrial strategy there.

Perhaps the nearest equivalent is the appointment of Jacob Rees-Mogg as "Minister for Brexit Opportunities and government efficiency", a title which makes "Yes Minister" look like a serious historical documentary.

And Rees-Mogg knows a lot about Brexit opportunities. He has set up two hedge funds in Dublin. He also knows a lot about government efficiency: Not for nothing has he been known as "the Honourable Member for the 18th century."

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 08:40:35 PM EST
It seems Macron's priority is always to stave off the far right, by appropriating as many centre right politicians as possible. If people want him to move to the left, they have to ensure Mélenchon becomes more of an electoral threat than Le Pen. Unfortunately his age will probably tell against him, and disunity will probably do for leftist influence for the foreseeable future.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 08:47:25 PM EST
Macron's strategy over the past five years has been precisely to promote the far right (RN) as his official opposition; to ensure that the presidential run-off is against their candidate, because he can't lose in that configuration.

The fact that this process of continual validation has shifted the whole political spectrum rightwards is not a problem for him. He presumably believes that they will never be electable; and that the left will stay marginal, because of the focus which is maintained on the Silly Party / Sensible Party dichotomy.

I'm not so sure that the left will disunite. Electorally, electoral alliance is the only route to power for the left; the fractious instincts will be kept in check as long as the new united left performs well in Parliament.

The problem is that Macron is contemptuous of Parliament, and has managed to keep the media focus away from the incompetence of his parliamentarians over the past five years. Constitutional reform to reinforce Parliament is the only long-term solution, and the left is absolutely united on that.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 23rd, 2022 at 08:41:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should the left alliance (NUPES, yes, we love ugly acronyms in France) win a majority at the parliamentary elections next month, we will (re)discover that the president has much less power than many would believe.

The only reason Macron has been able to run his policies without much trouble from the National Assembly was that the LREM (and MoDem - F.Bayrou) lawmakers have been so biddable.

The last time a president didn't have a majority at the parliament was between 1997 and 2002, when the PS won a majority at a snap election called by then president Chirac, who was forced to appoint L.Jospin (PS) as Prime Minister. The PS ran the government for five years and there was little Chirac could do.

Mélenchon's goal is to repeat Jospin's feat; still a long shot, but the only one remaining for the left parties.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon May 23rd, 2022 at 05:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must have forgotten to refresh, cause I didn't see that you had already answered my question below.
by fjallstrom on Tue May 24th, 2022 at 11:11:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With the news cycle currently dominated by rapist ministers (see above), who knows what will happen...

#metoo is just starting to make a difference in various domains of French society. The audiovisual industry is in convulsions over it... and rightly so... but at last taking the question seriously. And in the political realm, it's all verbal principles for the moment, with the closets jammed full of skeletons waiting to come dancing out.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue May 24th, 2022 at 02:04:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I remember corecctly from co-habitation during the 90ies, the PM has the domestic power, and the president mostly has has power in foreign politics. But is that merely how it plays out if they are both sensible persons?
by fjallstrom on Tue May 24th, 2022 at 11:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The administration initially refused to register NUPES as a political grouping (despite registering Macron's similar grouping of five or six parties). Clearly, this was to avoid having to declare NUPES the winner of the first round, they would instead declare totals for each of the parties separately.

NUPES appealed to the administrative tribunal, and won.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 8th, 2022 at 11:50:05 AM EST

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