Analysis

  • When Macron sent a twice-convicted man to represent France at Abe’s funeral

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    Nicolas Sarkozy greeted in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, September 27th 2022. © Photo Hiro Komae / pool / AFP Nicolas Sarkozy greeted in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, September 27th 2022. © Photo Hiro Komae / pool / AFP

    At the request of Emmanuel Macron, Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to Tokyo to represent France at the state funeral on Tuesday of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. That was despite the fact that the former French president has two convictions, and notably one for corruption, and that he is currently placed under investigation for “criminal conspiracy”, “corruption”, “illicit campaign financing” and “receiving the proceeds of the misappropriation of public funds” in relation to the alleged Libyan funding of his 2007 election campaign. Fabrice Arfi and Ilyes Ramdani report.

  • Macron, Algeria and his vision of the role of the media

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    Emmanuel Macron in the Disco Maghreb store in Oran, Algeria, August 27th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin/AFP Emmanuel Macron in the Disco Maghreb store in Oran, Algeria, August 27th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin/AFP

    Le Monde newspaper recently depublished an opinion article about Algeria that had attracted the ire of President Emmanuel Macron. As Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux says in this analysis piece, this was not a one-off example of the Élysée confusing journalism with public relations. As he explains, a number of academics, politicians and journalists are concerned about the way the presidency appears to be systematically equating the two.

  • Why even some of Macron's allies are wary of his new flagship body to reform France

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    Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, September 5th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, September 5th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP

    This Thursday September 8th the French president inaugurated his new national council designed to debate potential reforms for his second term of office. However, the launch of the Conseil National de la Refondation, as it is called, has simply highlighted the difficulties and challenges facing Emmanuel Macron's presidency following his re-election in April: its scope is vague, the opposition has refused to take part and even his own political camp has found it hard to muster much enthusiasm for the initiative. Analysis by Ilyes Ramdani.

  • How a German army designed not to fight now aims to be 'biggest NATO force in Europe'

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    A German soldier returns after the Bundeswehr left  Afghanistan. © Hauke-Christian Dittrich / AFP A German soldier returns after the Bundeswehr left Afghanistan. © Hauke-Christian Dittrich / AFP

    The German military or 'Bundeswehr' is under-equipped, used only for deployment in other parts of the world and is currently incapable of defending its own territory. In essence, the army in post-reunification Germany was designed for peace - not war. Now the conflict in Ukraine and the threat from Russia have changed all that and authorities in Berlin are planning to build the “biggest conventional European army within NATO”. Thomas Schnee reports from Berlin about Germany's shift away from pacifism.

  • Macron’s rehabilitation of the “murderous prince”

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    Emmanuel Macron welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Élysée Palace, July 28th 2022. © BERTRAND GUAY / AFP Emmanuel Macron welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Élysée Palace, July 28th 2022. © BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Paris on Thursday for talks with President Emmanuel Macron who later hosted him for dinner at the Élysée Palace, amid outrage from rights activists. In exchange for staging the prince’s comeback on the international diplomatic scene, four years after the murder of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Macron was hoping to obtain a substantial rise in Saudi oil production. But, as René Backmann writes in this analysis of Macron’s dealings with “MBS”, the move may well prove to benefit only he who Amnesty International secretary general Agnès Callamard has dubbed “the murderous prince”.   

  • The anger over downgrading of France’s overseas territories ministry

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    By downgrading the ministry for France’s overseas territories to junior status, now under the authority of the interior minister in France’s new government, President Emmanuel Macron has dismayed many Members of Parliament for the territories, but also a number of senior civil servants. Meanwhile, the political situation in the islands of the French Caribbean and the Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia threatens to reach a crisis point. Ellen Salvi reports.

  • Macron’s new government: more of the same from a president in denial

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    French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne at the Élysée Palace, May 23rd 2022. © Photo Eliot Blondet / Abaca French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne at the Élysée Palace, May 23rd 2022. © Photo Eliot Blondet / Abaca

    A new French government was announced on Monday, replacing the smaller interim government formed following Emmanuel Macron’s re-election as president in April. It also follows the stinging losses of Macron’s centre-right party in June’s legislative elections, after which the president pledged to honour what he called “the will for change that the country has clearly expressed”. But instead, writes Ilyes Ramdani in this presentation and analysis of the new government, the 41-strong ministerial line-up is simply a larger helping of more of the same.  

  • Uncertain future: how 2022 elections confirmed France's radically different political landscape

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    A voting card is stamped after a vote in the second round of the legislative elections at Carhaix-Plouguer in Brittany, June 19th 2022. © Photo Fred Tanneau / AFP A voting card is stamped after a vote in the second round of the legislative elections at Carhaix-Plouguer in Brittany, June 19th 2022. © Photo Fred Tanneau / AFP

    The outcome of France's legislative elections on Sunday shows the extent to which the country's political map has been redrawn in recent years. There are now three main blocs and groups of voters; Emmanuel Macron's centre-right, the Left and the far-right. But the composition of the new National Assembly, in which Macron's coalition has the single largest bloc of MPs but lacks an overall majority, raises as many questions as answers about the political future. Fabien Escalona assesses the uncertainties that lie ahead.

  • Macron's democratic slap in the face

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    Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne during a ceremony at the Mont-Valérien war memorial at Suresnes, in the western suburbs of Paris, on June 18th 2022. © Photo Gonzalo Fuentes / Pool / AFP Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne during a ceremony at the Mont-Valérien war memorial at Suresnes, in the western suburbs of Paris, on June 18th 2022. © Photo Gonzalo Fuentes / Pool / AFP

    Having been repudiated at the ballot box in the second round of France's legislative elections on Sunday, Presidential Emmanuel Macron is now faced with an unprecedented political and institutional crisis. Without a working majority in the National Assembly, there looks to be no obvious solutions for him at the start of his second term, unless there is a major but improbable realignment of political groups. Analysis by political correspondent Ilyes Ramdani.

  • Macron at risk of losing his Parliamentary majority

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    Emmanuel Macron voting in the first round at Le Touquet in northern France, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP Emmanuel Macron voting in the first round at Le Touquet in northern France, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP

    Shortly after winning the presidential election in 2017 Emmanuel Macron won a thumping majority at elections for the National Assembly, enabling him to push through his programme of reforms. Now, two months after his re-election as president in April, the head of state has suffered his first electoral setback at a national level. In the first round of voting in legislative elections on Sunday Macron's coalition of parties attracted only a handful more votes than the united left alliance known as NUPES. Though the head of state's centre-right Ensemble alliance is well-placed to win the support of other voters in the decisive second round next Sunday June 19th, his supporters are nonetheless worried he could lose his overall majority in the National Assembly. Ilyes Ramdani reports.