French president François Hollande has exhausted what little goodwill he had left in his party by airing his views of other top officials.
There was never any doubt that Hollande — the least popular president in French postwar history — would lose his reelection bid next year. But the Socialist Party was willing to follow him into defeat, owing to the absence of an uncontroversial successor and a political culture of deference.
The French Socialists will after all organize a presidential primary for the 2017 election, forcing François Hollande to beat off left-wing challengers before he can pivot to the general election.
It is the first time a sitting Socialist president is forced to prove himself in a primary.
Hollande’s critics invoked standing party rules, which do require a nominating contest.
Except those rules were only written in 2011 to allow for a then-unprecedented open primary on the left. The Socialist Party leadership could have easily thrown out the rulebook from five years ago and made Hollande’s life easier.
French economy minister Emmanuel Macron launched a political movement on Wednesday that he says aims to unite people from the left and the right around a program of reform.
Macron, nominally a Socialist, denied that the movement is meant to propel him into a presidential candidacy for 2017, but French presidential hopefuls do have a tendency to launch political “movements” one of two years out from an election.
Macron’s announcement comes only days after former conservative party secretary Jean-François Copé launched his own bid for the presidency. The rightwinger fell out with his former boss and current party leader, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2014 over a financial scandal and would now seek to deny him the Republicans’ presidential nomination.
Neither Copé nor Macron is likely to end up as a presidential candidate, let alone president of France. But the noise they’re making speaks volumes about the perceived timidity of their respective party leaders: Sarkozy and his successor, François Hollande. Read more “Copé, Macron Highlight Timidity of French Parties”
French president François Hollande reshuffled his cabinet on Thursday in an attempt to unite the left ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
The Greens, who left Hollande’s coalition in 2014 when he appointed a relative centrist, Manuel Valls, as prime minister, are back. Three of their members got cabinet posts, including party leader Emmanuelle Cossé.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Valls’ predecessor, also returns. He replaces Laurent Fabius as foreign minister whom Hollande nominated to the job of president of the al Council.
French president François Hollande unveiled €2 billion worth of job-boosting measures on Monday in an effort to bring down unemployment ahead an expected reelection bid next year.
Likening France’s persistently high unemployment rate to a “state of emergency,” the Socialist Party leader announced the creation of half a million vocational training schemes, new apprenticeships and subsidies for small companies.
“We have to act so that growth becomes more robust and job creation more abundant,” the president told business and labor leaders in Paris.
Elections in France this year and next could doom any chance of deeper economic reform even as the country seems incapable of bringing down unemployment.
Stuck at over 10 percent since he came to power in 2012, the high jobless rate has weighed down on President François Hollande’s popularity. With an approval rating under 20 percent, the incumbent seems unlikely to win reelection in 2017. But he is still running and should want to avoid dividing his Socialist Party on economic policy.
The next regional elections are due in December. Called after a reorganization that saw the number of regions cut from 22 to thirteen, the Socialists are gearing up for another defeat. They have lost all local elections since Hollande beat the conservatives’ Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 with 51.6 percent of the votes.
A Greek exit from the euro would be less divisive now than half a year ago. The antics and demands of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras have exhausted nearly every other European country’s patience. It seems only France is still in favor of continuing support to keep Greece on board. Read more “Greece Has United Europe Against It — Except France”