French President Macron suffered a severe defeat in the parliamentary elections. Now he has to come to terms with the left and the right in order to find majorities. The international press foresees a “national tragedy”.
Also read the report on the election result: “A total debacle”: Macron made a fool of himself in the parliamentary elections in France
“Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace”: Our country has been ungovernable since this morning, and nobody should have the nerve to be satisfied with that. (…) If politics in France is still a martial art where destroying is more important than building, the next five years will be years of total and toxic deadlock. Reforms will not be able to be implemented, the government will be helpless in crisis situations and the sad comedy will end in a national tragedy.
(…) If Macron’s center alliance, the left alliance and the extreme right want to make themselves useful for the general public, they have to learn to listen to each other. They must learn to put their egos on the back burner and throw out some old ideological ways of thinking. The German Bundestag or the European Parliament have proven that this is possible. But if you listened to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen or some other members of the government last night, there is still a long way to go.
“El Pais” (Spain): Over the past five years, the concentration of power in the Elysée Palace has thwarted the role of Parliament. But the general discontent has found outlets on the street or in the parties and candidates who challenge the system from the right and left fringes. Macron now needs to coordinate with other forces and get out of the Elysée, governing less vertically and listening more to the citizens.
However, there is a risk that the new National Assembly will block democracy if it becomes a mere sounding board for social anger and a platform for anti-system agitation. Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Eurosceptic and anti-capitalist left has already announced that it will also take the fight against Macron to the streets. Marine Le Pen’s extreme right will be able to form its own faction for the first time since 1986.
In the face of gigantic challenges such as inflation, pension reform or improving public services, Macron will have to forge alliances with both the left and the moderate right. And because of the biggest challenge: climate change.
The Times (England): Macron’s government acknowledged what Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire described as a “democratic shock” and pledged to “push harder and faster” on the reforms announced in his April manifesto.
However, both the leaders of the far left and the far right have announced that they will make life as difficult as possible for the government. The latter must now seek allies in the centre-right conservative camp in order to pass legislation, as Macron’s Ensemble party alliance now only has a relative majority. (…)
For the 44-year-old president, the result is a setback, especially after he over-dramatized the situation last week. He had described his opponents as dangerous extremists and urged the country to give him a “solid majority” at the start of his second term because “nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to global disorder”.
“Stuttgarter Zeitung”: France’s President Macron has to face hard times. After an election marathon, French voters refused to give their newly elected President an absolute parliamentary majority. Rather, they are helping left- and right-wing populists to gain a strong position in the National Assembly.
The president, who has been criticized for being smug, is now under massive pressure, especially from the populists. Political instability in Paris is likely to affect the EU as well. France is too preoccupied with itself to give impetus to European politics.