The ambivalence of the left in the direction of the legacy of Jacques Delors, each “reference” and “dream breaker” | EUROtoday

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François Mitterrand and Jacques Delors, during a G7 summit, in Williamsburg (Virginia), in May 1983.

Beyond the unanimous tributes to the” integrity “there “righteousness”L’“intellectual honesty”there “noble vision of politics” of Jacques Delors, the disappearance of the latter, Wednesday December 27, woke up an previous wound within the coronary heart of the French left. For a number of generations of socialists in actual fact, the one which Europe celebrates as we speak embodies the turning level in rigor. From November 1981, when he was François Mitterrand’s Minister of Economy and Finance, this satisfied social democrat, fan of compromise between the State and the market, former collaborator of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, known as for budgetary austerity.

Also learn the obituary: Article reserved for our subscribers The loss of life of Jacques Delors, an important European

“Like Michel Rocard, he was panicked by nationalizations and extremely concerned about public financesremembers the former socialist senator from Loiret Jean-Pierre Sueur. But it was not rigor for rigor’s sake. It was rigor as an element of a social policy. » “It was a left-wing government, it was financially responsible”helps the primary president of the Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici. “It was Delors who brought in the PS [Parti socialiste] in left realismunderlines political scientist Rémi Lefebvre, professor at the University of Lille. From the end of the 1970s, he considered that the PS’s position on deficits was insane. »

A vision that part of the left does not share. “Delors, it was starting from reality and transforming it, not dreaming itsummarizes the former first secretary of the PS Jean-Christophe Cambadélis. There has always been a reluctance towards it, and, even today, socialists prefer to refer to [l’ancien président du conseil Pierre] Mendès France than Delors, because there is this remorse of rigor. Delors was seen as a dream breaker. »

The current boss of the PS, Olivier Faure, does not want to make the former minister “the apostle of rigor”. The turning level of 1983, he instructed the World, “was linked to the context of the moment, to the risk of France’s economic decline”.

“A philosophy of action”

Dream breaker, Jacques Delors continued to be on the head of the European Commission, from 1985 to 1995. He shall be there “a key player in the deregulation of capital marketsunderlines Rémi Lefebvre. He thought, with others, that globalization would improve the purchasing power of the working classes.”

Jean-Pierre Chevènement, head of the left wing of the PS on the time, firmly opposed it and nonetheless reproaches him for it as we speak. Through the Commission, “Jacques Delors infused French politics with a dose of liberalism greater than any that it would have been possible to impose through normal legal channels., wrote the former minister of François Mitterrand on Thursday on the social network. He thus indelibly influenced the trajectory of the French left. » The former 2002 presidential candidate, however, recognizes his eldest for being “ one of the last representatives of an era when politicians said what they did and did what they said”he greets.

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