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France Speaks
A Stay of Execution for Europe—At Best
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  • WigWag

    And all the problems that wrecked the EU are also sadly still there.

  • QET

    France is long overdue for a Sixth Republic.

    • f1b0nacc1

      As long as it is still French, I don’t see much hope for improvement

    • Jim__L

      There are people talking about just that. The presidency has either too much power, or is a lame duck / figurehead, and a few of their laws allow some really weird ways to pass laws.

      However, Macron is not a supporter of a constitutional convention, so it may not happen soon.

  • ——————————

    It’s refreshing to see an article absent so much rambling on and speculation.
    I wish most of the articles on TAI were about this long.

    Anyway, France is screwed…make that more screwed….

    • Unelected Leader

      France folds to germay – again. Classic. But I want our dead boys back from Normandy. They died for nothing.

      • f1b0nacc1

        One of the great tragedies of WWII was that there was no way to defeat the Nazis without also liberating the French

        • Unelected Leader

          Yeah, the best thing that happened to France was Napoleon and he wasn’t even French.

          • Jim__L

            The best thing to happen to France (as a nation) was the Catholic Church. There would be no France without it. I’m not sure that the Church benefited as much from France as France did from the Church (giving a religious gloss on regional conquest and power consolidation, keeping Germany disunited, etc). Whether they handled the Reformation properly is a different story. (Probably not.)

            In the end, France started to fall as soon as they went Secular. There was nothing to rein in Napoleon, so he crashed and burned, and they’ve been a basket case ever since.

    • D4x

      Interesting how, with the lowest voter participation in decades, the vote for the least bad choice goes to the 39-year-old Macron, who, despite never running for political office, managed to create a new political party to run against Socialism, or something like that, yet, widely perceived as an Elite-win. French deplorables need a long wine break to figure out what just happened.

      Good thing the French can eat, and drink, their way in style to the next election.

      • ——————————

        I was kinda thinking the same thing.
        Maybe they needed a transition candidate before they get their heads on straight, and vote in a La Pen type, so they voted Macron…you know..to cushion the shock.

        Hopefully they’ll figure out what happened by the time the next election rolls around….

        • D4x

          Just found out Mrs. Macron, Brigitte Trogneux, is 64 (he is 39), and will work for free, on education reform. They met when he was 15. She was his drama teacher.
          Heck of a transition for France!

        • D4x

          Sec Tillerson and FM Lavrov both attending The Arctic Council meet in Fairbanks, AK, May10-11, 2017. Hope reindeer ribs are on the menu – there is a cookbook project.

          http://arcticjournal.com/politics/3142/eyes-and-minds
          May 5, 2017 – 9:30am – By Kevin McGwin “…if repairing relations between the two countries is on the agenda, they may have reason to shift focus back to the region, given its reputation as a place where not just Washington and Moscow, but all capitals who have an interest there, seem to agree on the value of collaboration.

          Everyone’s eyes will be on Fairbanks next week. Their minds, however, may wander.”

          • ——————————

            Russia and the US need to patch things up.
            It is ridiculous as it is….

          • D4x

            Yes, as ridiculous as FlynnRussia! back in the news this week. Good sign the militaries have re-started the deconfliction protocols in Syria, and that the propaganda media might not notice The Arctic Council meeting where Tillerson and Lavrov can focus on the de-escalation zone map, maybe with this in mind (most interesting partition plan to date): http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/resolve-syrian-crisis-partition-necessary
            Enough about France, on to SoKo, and whatnot. I am trying to restrain my scope this week, and stay focused on the ME. See you again!

  • rheddles

    If only they could convince Merkel to invade.

  • Suzy Dixon

    So many young people, especially guys, are so upset about this election. They don’t seem to get it. A Le Pen victory would’ve been purely symbolic. France has been irrevocably changed already. The fact that she didn’t win is just more proof. Yes, there will be continued terror attacks. And yes, many French apparently think little or nothing of it. So let let them suffer the attacks and be content. They chose it.

    • Unelected Leader

      The French flag is incorrect. They ruined it with red and blue.

      • Jim__L

        Interestingly, pure white was the old Bourbon standard…

        • Curious Mayhem

          Didn’t it have the fleur-de-lis?

    • KremlinKryptonite

      That’s right, Suzy, they don’t get it. France is stuck in 2005. The time when it was still cutting edge to hate one’s self, one’s culture, etc. Brexit, Trump, and EU skepticism generally have been mostly transmitted in English, Russian, and some much lesser known Eastern European tongues.
      French and Germans may well speak some English, but that doesn’t mean they are 100% native and appreciate all the nuance, or that they choose English language YT channels and publications for news and commentary.

  • Fat_Man

    If France is the sick man of Europe, what are the PIIGS? The sick puppies of Europe?

  • ljgude

    I’m a but more positive. Macron may just be an establishment guy without a parliamentary party to back him up, but he does give the EU some breathing room to try to solve its structural issues around the Euro. A Le Pen victory might have unceremoniously dumped the EU right in it and triggered a world wide economic collapse. That about a third of the electorate spoiled their ballots or left them blank tells me that we may not have heard the last from the French on their fast approaching dhimmitude. Still, I have to say that anytime I get this optimistic, I have to ask myself if I have really succeeded in killing my inner Tom Friedman or is he once again making me ‘look on the bright side of death’. 😉
    .

    • Jim__L

      I was talking with a Frenchman yesterday (a young, hopeful Macron supporter from Lille who is in Silicon Valley working the American market for his tech firm), about the election. He characterizes Macron as someone who rejects “declinisme”, and says “everything is awesome in France, we need more of the same!” I asked him about the urban / periphery split, and he said that it’s real, but when we went into detail he simply went into a digression about how he feels sorry for farmers because there are so many middle men between them and selling their produce.

      He also pointed out that the recent immigrant population in France is less than 10% (under 100k) than the recent immigrant population of Germany (over 1M), so he doesn’t think that’s as much of a problem as people make out.

      We also had an interesting discussion about the fact that the French have a De Gaullist law that’s more or less the opposite of the filibuster — a Prime Minister can say, “We’re going to ‘take responsibility for’ this new law, and if the rest of the parliament wants to block the law they have to have a 2/3rds vote against it”. Apparently this is very unpopular in France — in a weird twist of fate, it allowed Hollande to pass laws making it easier to fire people (yeah, everyone’s scratching their heads about how that happened).

      So the French may actually have a Constitutional Convention soon.

      French politics are a fascinating subject. We’ll see where it all goes.

  • tellourstory

    I was thinking this very thing yesterday when the results of the election came in. For all this celebration of this victory, Macron is a status quo candidate who worked in Hollande’s government. In other words, all the problems that have made the French unhappy for the past five years, (high unemployment, riots, never ending state of emergency, etc.), are likely going to be remain for the foreseeable future. If things don’t get better in the next five years, and I’m suspecting they won’t, then the likelihood that more people will turn to Le Pen or someone like her for answers only increases.

  • I predict he will ultimately adopt Le Pen’s agenda, reasoning better him than her.

  • Eurydice

    It seems the next most popular “candidate” was “none of the above/abstain”. But I’m sure all those failed parties in the parliament are eager to help Macron up the learning curve.

  • Angel Martin

    the change in vote in Calais shows that voting patterns will change if the situation is dire enough. The real question is, does France really have to deteriorate to the point where there is a “Jungle” in every city and town before the politicians change, or are changed ?

    http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/elections/presidentielle-2012/resultats-elections/ville-calais-62100_62193.html
    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/elections/resultats/pas-de-calais_62/calais_62100

  • Curious Mayhem

    Spot on. Macron’s biggest immediate problem is that he has no party. With the once-great center-left and center-right coalitions in advanced implosion, it’s hard to see how he can get anywhere in domestic policy. We’ll have to wait to see what happens in June with the parliamentary elections. Macron has a freer hand in foreign and defense policy.

    On the economic front, France is the most socialist country today, by far, in Europe. The state sector is almost 60% of the economy. That alone poses an insuperable obstacle to getting France back on its feet economically. Right now, it still hovers between Germany and Italy in status. But the trend is unmistakable: it’s headed south, not north, toward Club Med status. It’s already no longer the twin “core” or “pillar” counterpart to Germany in the EU. France will soon be a lot more like Italy than like Germany.

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