France: Parties reject Macron’s call to end deadlock in parliament

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The French political parties of the left and right rejected today the appeal of President Emanuel Macron to help overcome the fact that no party has an absolute majority in parliament and asked him to clarify what compromises he is ready to make to win their support.

Before heading to Brussels for the European Union summit, Macron made a televised speech last night, admitting that this month’s parliamentary elections revealed “deep divisions” in French society.

While ruling out the possibility of forming a national unity government, he called on opposition party leaders to consider either coalition options with their center-right coalition or to support reforms on a case-by-case basis.

But his move was widely rejected as an attempt to garner support for his policy by making only a few concessions.

“If he insists on his program, he does not have an absolute majority,” Socialist deputy leader Valerie Rambo told France Inter radio. “It will be he who blocks France, not us.”

Bruno Retagio, a senator from the right-wing Republican Party who is considered Macron’s best hope of passing his economic reforms by parliament, ruled out any form of coalition, saying there was no confidence in Macron.

“For us, it will be on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Louis Alio, vice-president of the National Alarm (RN) of Marin Le Pen, now the second largest party in parliament, also rejected the appeal. Left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melanson described Macron’s speech as “tourlu” (ratatouille in French, a cooked food in southern France that combines a variety of vegetables).

Reactions create little hope for a quick end to the stalemate.

There is no absolute majority in the French parliament after the election, as Macron’s center-left coalition lacks 44 seats with an absolute majority, while the far right and a broad left-wing coalition are fighting to be the main opposition. Conservatives can be the regulatory factor.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire said in a statement that Macron wanted the parties to clarify their positions within 48 hours, adding that any further consultations would likely take weeks.

“A dialogue has begun that will not end after 48 hours,” Gregoire said on the radio.

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