French Greens realise that glass half empty is better than no glass at all

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The green alliance Europe Écologie-Les Verts, which has two ministers in the French government, ended its annual summer gathering this weekend in better spirits than many had predicted. Some green-tinged policy announcements and victory over one of their government 'enemies' seem to have ensured their participation in President Hollande's socialist administration for some time to come. But in reality the Greens' 'successes' were little more than avoiding defeats. Stéphane Alliès explains.

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Delegates leaving the annual summer gathering of the green alliance Europe Écologie-Les Verts (EELV) in Marseille last week packed up their bags with a smile on their faces, having regained some of the political confidence they had lost after the first gruelling year of the François Hollande presidency. There were several reasons for this.