Francuska - predsednički izbori

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Re: Francuska - predsednički izbori

Post by Indy on Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:10 pm



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Re: Francuska - predsednički izbori

Post by Gargantua on Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:39 pm

#MAFA #FranceFirst

Macron touts Europe’s interests, but early actions put France first

By James McAuley
August 5, 2017 at 5:00 AM


PARIS — In May, Emmanuel Macron’s victory over his opponent, the far-right populist Marine Le Pen, was seen as a win for the European Union or, as Macron put it, a “Europe that protects.”

But three months later, many across the continent have begun wondering whether Macron really is the drum major for European unity he says he is or whether he will become another French president out to defend national interests above all else. Nowhere is this truer than in Italy, France’s southern neighbor, where leaders have begun to feel slighted by the new president’s bid to launch himself and his country as major players on the world stage.

“Precisely because the French election developed the way it did — with the ‘European leader’ on one side vs. the extreme nationalist right wing on the other — there was a fundamental misunderstanding of who Macron was and what he represented,” said Nathalie Tocci, director of the Rome-based Institute for International Affairs and a special adviser to E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

“Because it was such an extreme presidential election, we kind of forgot at the end of the day that it was also a national election,” Tocci said.

Recently, Macron and his administration have pursued multiple initiatives that have rankled his Italian counterparts, who have said they were deliberately excluded from discussions that directly concern their interests.

These perceived slights have ranged from the specific to the general, from infighting over a Lyon-Turin railway to more substantive issues such as Europe’s migration crisis and Middle East foreign policy. In Rome, there is now the perception that Macron may be less of a team player than he was initially considered.

This sense first emerged in the aftermath of Macron’s recent Libya summit, during which the new president invited the country’s two rival leaders — the U.N.-backed prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, and the military strongman Khalifa Haftar — to a chateau outside Paris to discuss a cease-fire agreement.

Conspicuously absent was an Italian delegation, despite the reality that, as Tocci put it, Italy is the “European member state that has the most granular understanding of the situation on the ground.”

At stake in particular was the issue of migration. Italy now receives the bulk of Europe’s incoming migrants, with many arriving across the Mediterranean directly from Libya. So far in 2017, Italy has received about 95,000 along this route, prompting the Italian government to petition the European Union for assistance in handling the new asylum seekers.

“There is the very strong impression in Rome of having been left alone with the migrant question,” said Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute for International Relations, in an interview.

Last month, France — along with Germany — reluctantly promised to help in relocating migrants more quickly, although critics say details of that plan remain vague and that little action has been taken since. In any case, after his meeting with the two Libyan leaders, Macron — without Italian input — announced plans to open “hot spots” in Libya later this summer, which would theoretically curb the flow into Europe.

For Gomart, however, any French action on migrants cannot be separated from the reality that France, when compared with Germany and Italy, has not taken anywhere near the same proportions of asylum seekers.

“This for me is the biggest cause of the tensions that have materialized — and it’s a barometer of European solidarity,” he said.

Then came a French move that, for many in Italy, was even more surprising.

Before an Italian firm, Fincantieri, could close on the purchase of France’s largest shipyard, known as STX, Macron — who had campaigned on promises of easing government regulations and even of attracting foreign investment — temporarily nationalized the facility and prevented the sale, in an effort to protect French jobs.

To assuage the immediate Italian accusations of economic protectionism that followed, Macron called Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, whose office later told reporters that the conversation was “friendly.” He then dispatched Bruno Le Maire, France’s economy minister, to Rome on Tuesday to meet with his Italian counterpart.

French officials were quick to dismiss any notion of soured relations with Italy.

“We will continue to exchange with our Italian partner at all levels on Libya,” said a French diplomatic official.

But the consensus in Italy was different. As Italian economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters after the Tuesday meeting: “During our conversation with minister Le Maire, we’ve first of all ascertained that between Italy and France there are still unresolved differences.”

Foreign policy analysts see Macron’s actions on Italy as evidence that his image as a dogged advocate of European integration could soon change.

Said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States and the E.U.: “At the end of the day, if you look at the way Europeans are watching Macron, one cannot help but notice that for many of our European counterparts, there is the impression that this president is very French and merely promoting French interests.
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Re: Francuska - predsednički izbori

Post by Gargantua on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:56 pm


10 August 2017
The Macron lovefest is long gone

By Anne-Elisabeth Moutet @moutet


His wife is unpopular, his ministers contradict him, his parliamentary party is making a hash of protocol


As he finally leaves Paris for a few days’ holiday in an undisclosed location, an embattled Emmanuel Macron must be rueing the day he so comprehensively creamed Marine Le Pen in the television debate that sealed his election victory last spring.

Macron won two-thirds of the vote in the second round in good part because most of the French, including many of Marine’s own supporters, judged that her performance, better suited to an after-dinner boozy get-together, disqualified her from the job.

Ever since, the Front National has been in disarray, with divisions, accusations, resignations, and a likely forthcoming split. As a result, the FN, once hopeful of 30 or 40 seats in the National Assembly— which would have qualified it twice over to form a Parliamentary group — is all but absent from the political scene, with only eight, mostly demoralised, MPs.

Ideally, Emmanuel Macron’s Opposition would have gathered the tattered remnants of a split centre-right and decimated Socialist opposition, with two extremes more or less cancelling themselves — the FN on one hand and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s radical Left France Insoumise on the other.

Now, the president’s poll numbers, as for every single one of his predecessors at around this time of their first year in office, are in free fall (from 54 per cent to 34 per cent favourable opinions in three weeks) and his magic is no longer working.

His wife is unpopular, his ministers contradict him, the untested new faces of his parliamentary party are making a conspicuous hash of parliamentary protocol, the military are nursing bitter grudges after he pushed the Chief of the General staff to resign, a resentful press covers the gaffes of his Élysée spin doc rather than her too-rare releases, and parading a number of foreign heads of state at Versailles or on the Champs-Élysées no longer cuts it.

And in the Assemblée, the only clear opposition voice, out of proportion with their numbers, comes from the historically pro-Chávez Mélenchon and his 17 FI MPs. The presence of a strong Front, sharing with FI a basket of populist positions (protectionist, anti-cuts, anti-Euro, anti-Europe, pro-Assad), would have opened up almost infinite possibilities to tar one with the other’s brush.

But the Front National’s effective absence means Mélenchon et al can play the part of every Trotskyite strain in every left-wing movement in history: boasting that they hold the high ground, apportioning blame and excommunications, guilt-tripping the rest as not being combative or ideologically pure enough. This, “Méluche” has been doing with gusto.

When housing benefits were threatened with a five-euro monthly cut, a measure PM Édouard Philippe expected to pass unremarked, Mélenchon up-ended onto his Parliament desk during Government Question Time a shopping bag of discount groceries he said cost just that (pasta, white bread, milk, tomato sauce, tinned vegetables), pushing Macron to withdraw the measure.

When Donald Trump came on official visit for Bastille Day on the Champs-Élysées, FI staged an anti-Trump march at the site where the actual Bastille stood.

Among their most effective guerilla actions, FI took the lead in denying an official status to the President’s wife: the unexpectedly successful petition started two weeks ago by a friend of Paris Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, which garnered a quarter of million signatures to protest the creation of an official “First Lady”, was a catch-up strategy to regain some initiative from FI.

That specific case, though, may prove emblematic of the growing disconnect between the new president and the country which elected him: the Brigittegate shambles is essentially a Macron own goal. Misreading his campaign successes as a national aspiration for quasi-Scandinavian openness and transparency in politics, the president decided to apply his financier’s experience of analytic accounting to the Élysée budget.

Coming after the five years of François Hollande’s messy love life, and the large amount of fantasising over the attendant security costs, this seemed like the perfect solution. The newly-minted Première Dame would not receive a salary; the office costs every single presidential spouse has incurred from the days of Madame Pompidou would simply be accounted for separately.

Beware the French demanding “transparency”: what they really mean is the right to endlessly investigate, examine, ruminate, envy and criticise their neighbours’ or their betters’ lives. There has never been a time when the maxim from the 18C poet Jean-Pierre de Florian, “Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés” (“Live hidden if you want to live happily”) has not applied in France: all understand it as a healthy attempt to escape the national passion for inquisition, thinly disguised in the “égalité” part of the national motto.

As political mores changed over the past 30 years, from genteel corruption to a kind of armed watch with skirmishes, this passion has been pandered to with a number of measures from the wealth tax to the requirement from ministers or MPs to declare, instead of their list of interests, the detailed makeup of their personal holdings.

There are many reasons why Brigitte Macron’s popularity is on the wane, including an unhealthy, and probably misogynistic national love-hate for expensively-dressed women with political influence and a mind of their own. Call it the Marie-Antoinette complex, except that Brigitte Macron pays for, or borrows, her clothes. The French, denied future opportunities to criticise, immediately declared Brigitte didn’t know her place and that there wasn’t one, officially, for her anyway.

In this, as in other crises, Emmanuel Macron has backed down. (The difference with or without a First Lady status will be negligible, since no one expects Brigitte Macron to do less than Carla Bruni, or the very active Bernadette Chirac, whose Élysée staff numbered 18 people.) He has seemingly abandoned his promise to change France’s electoral system to include a part of PR. Having barred MPs and senators from employing relatives (a move that was seen as doubly hypocritical during Brigittegate) in the new Transparency Bill voted by the Assemblée, he gave up on forbidding them any consulting activities.

And the times he has stood his ground have not necessarily been felicitous. The expected cuts to a national budget perennially in the red, required to make good his promise to Brussels that France would finally abide by the Maastricht criteria of keeping the budget deficit under 3 per cent of GDP, have alienated his left-wing voters (see housing benefits above). Announcing that the armed forces would have to retrench by €850 million this year, moments after committing to French troops’ continued deployment in the war against Isis and Boko Haram, did not go down well with his right-wing voters to begin with.

It got worse after Macron lashed out publicly, on the eve of his first Bastille Day as president, at the Chief of the General Staff, Pierre de Villiers, who’d expressed strong disapproval behind the closed doors of the Defence Committee of the National Assembly. Villiers pretty much resigned on the spot, the military released on YouTube the video of the entire Defence Ministry applauding him as he left the building, and the entire affair left a sour taste.

The French may often not be fond of their police, but they do love their army, and they were shocked to hear the 39-year-old whippersnapper they had elected tell a 61-year-old Kosovo, Afghanistan, Mali and Iraq veteran, “I am your chief and I need from you neither pressure nor comments.”

Macron also stood his ground when his chief press secretary at the Elysée, Sibeth Ndiaye, came under criticism for saying she had “no problems with lying to protect the President”, before sending an unfortunately phrased text confirming the death of the country’s most admired political figure, Simone Veil (“The old bag has popped her clogs”). But this is mainly emblematic of his newly adversarial relationship with the media. Long gone is the lovefest of the campaign, when he courted a coverage almost uniformly flattering.

Now the Élysée press room has been moved from the Palace to a building across the street, the president has decided to pick which papers are allowed to follow him; all news images are taken by the Élysée’s own cameras; and interviews are being shunned for carefully-crafted Facebook and YouTube videos.

Having watched, from the inside, the gregarious François Hollande’s descent into record unpopularity, Macron decided that there, too, he would take the exact opposite way to his predecessors. No one has his mobile number; aides and ministers have been threatened with the sack should they leak; and aides led by Ndiaye regularly call up chief editors to complain about coverage they dislike.

This, Macron believed, would not be taken amiss by voters who regularly express their contempt of journalists. Amazingly, he seems to have failed to take into account that journalists still provide the spin with which his presidency is perceived: the abrupt freeze in the relationship is mirrored in his recent coverage.

As he packs his bags for a few days of rest, he may ponder that most of the political credit he so counted on to pass his difficult reform of the employment code seems to have been used up even before Parliament recess comes to an end.
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Re: Francuska - predsednički izbori

Post by diktotar on Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:09 pm

divno 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40930898


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Re: Francuska - predsednički izbori

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