“Has Emmanuel Macron gone mad? » | EUROtoday

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The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, during his televised speech, in Paris, June 9, 2024.

“High risk bet”, “playing with political fire”, “a referendum for the French executive”… By saying the dissolution of the National Assembly and the holding of early legislative elections on June 30 and July 7, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, triggered an earthquake in French political life, the tremors of which have been propagated even within the columns of the worldwide press.

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Across the Rhine, whereas the coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz emerges weakened from the European election, Die Zeit describes the French president's choice as “dangerous game”. “Has Emmanuel Macron gone mad? Has he lost his cool and is now handing his country over to Marine Le Pen? Or does the French president seriously think he can achieve in the next three weeks what he has failed to do in recent years, namely stop the rise of the far right? »asks the leading German political weekly, surprised by the presidential decision.

While Die Zeit Talk about “stinging defeat” of the presidential camp (15.2% of the votes towards double for the National Rally listing led by Jordan Bardella) and that the Spanish every day El País describes a “electoral humiliation”, The Guardian describes the outcomes of the European vote as “humiliating defeat” for the French president. In its editorial, the British every day believes that Emmanuel Macron “plays with political fire” by taking a “surprisingly risky decision” the result of which can be scrutinized by the Old Continent. “In the context of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine (…)Mr. Macron showed himself to be a defender (…) of a more powerful, more united and more assertive Europe. He has now chosen to attack Mme Le Pen, who has a history of pro-Putin sympathies and aspires to disrupt the European Union from within (…). A fateful competition looms not only for France, but for the European Union as a whole. »

The Belgian daily The evening try to explain “the enormous twist of theater” by a need of the Head of State to overhaul the RN. “Emmanuel Macron hopes that the RN will not have time to find credible candidates everywhere in the country. He also banks on the divisions of the left [et] also anticipates a sequence which promises to be very difficult in the fall”highlighting the blockages surrounding the price range. The night doesn’t fail to recall that Mr. Macron had assured, earlier than the election, that he wouldn’t be taught any nationwide classes from the election. “A very risky strategy. Hit or miss “summarizes the Belgian newspaper.

“Three years of cohabitation will lead Le Pen to burn out”

If the international press tries to understand the reasons for Emmanuel Macron's choice, the hypothesis of cohabitation does not escape it. The influential liberal Turin daily La Stampa explores the stratagem which would aim to consume the RN in contact with power: “Three years of (exhausting) cohabitation between Macron and the far right will also lead Le Pen and his supporters to become exhausted. Having to abandon their oppositional tones to adopt those, often much more uncomfortable, of responsible institutions. » The objective would also be to “preserve the only man in whom Macron really trusts at the moment and in whom he could invest for the future, his young prime minister, Gabriel Attal”with the 2027 presidential election in the sights.

Read the column | Article reserved for our subscribers “By playing with fire, the head of state could end up burning himself, dragging the entire country into the fire”

A scenario taken up by The weather. In its editorial, the Swiss daily tries to understand the objective of Emmanuel Macron's maneuver. Once installed in Matignon, the“incompetence [du RN] will then be visible, spectacular, undeniable. Since the last presidential election, the RN has placed everything on discretion and avoids any controversy, even if it means almost never expressing itself on the merits of the most complicated issues. A cynical ploy “extremely damaging (…). With an RN program deemed irresponsible, if only in budgetary terms, the price of this gamble would be enormous.” Mentioning the popularity of former US President Donald Trump, The weather recalls that the practice of power by populists in no way guarantees future electoral failures.

On the other side of the Atlantic, The Washington Post summarizes Emmanuel Macron’s choice as “ a high-risk bet,” with early legislative elections which will be “referendum of the French executive”. According to the influential daily newspaper of the American capital, France is like “an epic battleground between the center and the far right”in the run-up to the Olympic Games and under the threat of terrorist attacks, in a context of tensions with Russia.

Precisely, the major Russian daily Izvestia places the choice of Emmanuel Macron in a historical context by titling: “In the shadow of De Gaulle: Parliament was dissolved in France. » The newspaper explains that Emmanuel Macron's choice to make the Ukrainian conflict an issue in the European election did him a disservice. In Ukraine, The Kyiv Independent notes that [Marine] Le Pen has a mixed record on Russia, having repeatedly supported Russia and Vladimir Putin before the start of [la guerre] » and remembers the use of the word “attachment” from Crimea to Russia, during a parliamentary committee in May 2024.

Read the story | Article reserved for our subscribers How the dissolution of the National Assembly made its strategy to the Elysée

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