• The centrist leader kicks off his second term in a simpler act than in 2017

  • The name of his new prime minister is unknown two weeks after his re-election

“In the most difficult times, France has always shown the best of itself. Now we find ourselves in one of these moments & rdquor ;. Con these words, French President Emmanuel Macron marked the start of his second term in the current succession of crises in a Europe shaken by the war in Ukraine after having suffered the covid-19 pandemic.

The centrist leader held his investiture ceremony this Saturday after being re-elected with 58.55% of the votes before the far-right Marine Le Pen (41.45%). Far from the optimism of 2017, when a young 39-year-old president assumed the reins of power, and its careful set design —then he surprised with his walk down the Champs-Elysée in a military vehicle, a reference to Charles de Gaulle—, it was an act classic and monotonous. Rather tasteless.

“The French people did not extend the mandate that is ending. This new town, different from five years ago, entrusted a new president with a new mandate& rdquor ;, assured the president during his speech in the ballroom at the Elysée Palace in Paris. This act marks the starting signal for Macron’s second five-year term. He has also been an opportunity to give his presidency a boost. Despite being the fourth head of state to be re-elected in the history of the Fifth Republic —after General de Gaulle, François Mitterrand or Jacques Chirac—, it does not seem to have the classic grace period after an electoral victory.

“Act relentlessly & rdquor;

His re-election celebration on April 24 had already been characterized by a rather soulless atmosphere. That night, on the esplanade of the Eiffel Tower, he gave a short speech with the intention of giving a image of modestyaway from the arrogance that has been criticized so much.

His speech at the investiture ceremony did have a greater political content. Aware of “the seriousness of the serious times that accompany us & rdquor ;, she has promised” to act tirelessly & rdquor; to defend France and Europe. An action intended “in the first place to avoid any escalation after the Russian aggression against Ukraine and help democracy and courage prevail & rdquor ;. He has also referred to the fact of turning his country “into a great ecological power & rdquor ;.

“In these turbulent times, we have to be the servants of law and the slaves of duty & rdquor ;, the president of the Constitutional Council (equivalent to the Constitutional Court), Laurent Fabius, quoted Victor Hugo at the beginning of the ceremony. After having announced the official results of the elections, Fabius recalled “the worrying democratic malaise & rdquor;.

From the president’s team, they had promised an austere act. However, it would be an exaggeration to describe it that way considering the high number of attendees: more than 450. Former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, former prime ministers Manuel Valls, Jean-Pierre Raffarin… The long list of guests reflected what macronismo has become, a “grand coalition & rdquor; between center right and center leftwhat remains of the parties that made up French bipartisanship in the past.

Slow appointment of a new prime minister

After his investiture, the European agenda will mark the beginning of the second term of the centrist leader. On Monday he will deliver a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Europe Day and will will meet with German Chancellor Olaf ScholzIn Berlin.

At the moment, however, the president’s main concern is the configuration of a new government, which must be ratified by the National Assembly after the legislative elections on June 12 and 19. First, Macron appoint a new prime minister to replace the uncharismatic Jean Castex. Two weeks after the presidential elections, the name of the future chief executive is still unknown. This announcement won’t take place until the end of next week, at the earliest.

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The French press has speculated on a wide range of names during this waiting period, especially long considering the French tradition. The European Commissioner Thierry Breton, Véronique Bédague (former director of the Valls cabinet), the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie… The profile of the future prime minister is diverse. “Brigitte Macron (wife of the president) presses for the position in Matignon to fall to a woman (remember that the only woman who held this position was Edith Cresson during the mandate of François Mitterrand) & rdquor ;, the journalist explains in the Tribune newspaper Marc Endeweld, a good connoisseur of the ins and outs of macronism.

The French left has taken advantage of these weeks of silence and immobility by Macron to set up an unexpected unitary coalition ahead of the June legislative elections. The leader of this alliance, the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has occupied the center of the political scene in recent days. For these elections, the president’s party has been renamed the Renaissance and will appear together with other center and center-right formations in the coalition Together. The promise of a “new president & rdquor; At the moment it consists of a simple change of acronyms.


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