Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

French left's new 'disobedient' stance is warning shot for EU

World May 06, 2022 02:37AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Posters of the parliament election of Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the far-left opposition party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed - LFI) are display in Paris, France May 3, 2022. Poster reads "Melenchon Prime Minister" REUTERS/Gonzalo Fue 2/3

By Michel Rose

PARIS (Reuters) -Winning next month's legislative election may be a long shot for France's new hard-left alliance, but the fact President Emmanuel Macron now faces two eurosceptic opposition blocs should cause concern among France's European Union partners.

The French left this week united under the leadership of a eurosceptic party that wants to "disobey" EU rules and "destabilise the Brussels machine", departing for the first time from the pro-EU stance of previous left-wing coalitions.

This reflects a new state of play in French politics with the Socialist Party, long the dominant force on the left and a driver of European integration, now reduced to a subordinate role in an alliance forged by hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The Socialists garnered a meagre 1.75% of the vote in April's presidential election, while Melenchon, a fiery orator who leads the France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, won 22%, almost pipping far-right leader Marine Le Pen to the run-off against Macron.

A poll published this week by Harris Interactive shows the left-wing alliance neck-and-neck with Macron's party and allies with 33% of the popular vote. However, France's two-round voting system means, according to the pollster, that it would still likely translate in a majority of seats for the president.

HEIR TO 'NON'

Melenchon is the heir to France's victorious "non" campaign that rejected ratification of a European Constitution in a 2005 referendum, deeply dividing the left.

Breaking away from the pro-EU Socialists in 2008, Melenchon founded a party that in 2017 did not rule out taking France out of the EU if the bloc refused to let it roll out its big-spending, protectionist platform.

The new alliance, which also includes Greens and Communists and will fight under the banner "Social And Ecological People's Union", says it wants to stay within the EU and does not want to abandon the euro.

However, some of its policies would certainly put France on a collision course with Brussels.

It wants to cut the retirement age to 60 from 62, raise the minimum wage by about 100 euros a month, nationalise the former French electricity and gas monopolies EDF (EPA:EDF) and ENGIE and stop complying with EU budget limits and competition rules.

In the document sealing their alliance, the Socialists said that the concept of "disobedience" to EU rules reflected the "different history" between them and Melenchon's party, and that they preferred to say they could "temporarily contravene" EU legislation.

But they add their joint goal is to "put an end to the EU's free-market and productivist course" and that it could be done by creating "tension" with Brussels.

EUROSCEPTICS ON BOTH SIDES

When asked how they would manage to make Brussels swallow the pill, members of Melenchon's party said the sheer size of France's economy within the bloc meant the EU would have no choice but to agree - unlike the situation faced by the Greek government of hard-left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that lost a stand-off with the EU during the debt crisis.

"France is influential in Europe. It's 18% of the European economy. It's not the situation of the Greece of Tsipras that negotiated with 2% of the European economy," Adrien Quatennens, a senior member of Melenchon's party, told Franceinfo radio.

Even if the alliance fails to win power in the June 12-19 parliamentary election, the new alignment on the left and the fact Macron is constitutionally barred from running for a third mandate in 2027 and has no obvious successor, increases the prospect of one of the two eurosceptic blocs winning power in the future.

"In the long term it's part of a process in which French politics is splitting in three: a pro-European centre and blocs of the nationalist right and nationalist left - raising question about how long the centre can hold," Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group think-thank told Reuters.

French left's new 'disobedient' stance is warning shot for EU
 

Related Articles

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now By Reuters - Jul 03, 2022 56

(Reuters) - At least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the local governor said, after...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email