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HomeEconomyEmmanuel Macron needs to make friends friends and woo conservatives MPNRC
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Emmanuel Macron needs to make friends friends and woo conservatives MPNRC

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French President Emmanuel Macron spent his first term trying to divide and win over the traditional centre-right Les Republicans (LR) party – and he was largely successful.

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Now he needs them to save his second term. And they don’t seem to be in any mood to roll over, at least officially.

“We have so far not stood against La Macronie (Macron’s camp), only to be part of it,” said François-Javier Bellamy, an influential LR EU MP.

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A senior LR adviser put it even more bluntly: “He did everything he could over the course of five years to undermine Les Republicans and now he expects us to fall into his open arms? off course not!”

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Macron enjoyed complete control of parliament in his first five years, but now needs to garner support from opponents after voters, angered by inflation and his perceived apathy, led to a hung parliament in Sunday’s elections.

The debate is intense within Les Republicans, where some, hitherto isolated, voices are pushing for a broader, Germany-style coalition agreement.

“You gain nothing from the touchline,” LR Mayer, Frank Louvre, who is very close to former president Nicolas Sarkozy, told Reuters. “We must work out a government agreement.”

Macron’s Ensemble Coalition and the LR are largely consistent on economic policies, including plans to make the French work longer. During its first mandate, the LR voted in favor of 40% of the government’s proposed bills, LR officials say.

“We may very well remain free in elections but participate in a German-style coalition in a practical way. The situation in the country requires this,” LR campaigner and business leader Paul Louis Villeroy de Galhau told Reuters.

“We can ask for ministers, a government agreement.”

When he first came to power in 2017, Macron poached LR members and made them ministers – and even prime ministers – while his policies moved to the right, his more far-right The middle squeezed the political base of the mainstream right.

A government source told Reuters that the former LR minister, who joined Macron over the past five years, is now trying to convince as much as possible to agree a deal at the LR.

“Those who know him well are involved,” the source said. He said he hoped that cracks would be visible behind the mask of unity if the coalition agreement is rejected.

A source close to the Macron-supporting MP from Alsace – historically a conservative stronghold – was optimistic: “Couldn’t the LR really support pension reform, when they have always been in favor of it?”

At the very least, LR leaders have said that if their proposals are taken on board, they may be open to deals on a case-by-case basis.

A coalition agreement – or even a case-by-case deal – could come at a heavy cost for Macron, but he has few other options in a very fragmented parliament.

Many considered the LR to be a dying force until the end of its first mandate, when LR candidate Valerie Pecrese received only 4.8% of the vote in the April presidential election, as Macron won a second term and grabbed a few more senior LR members. .

But now, with 61 legislators from the LR, and three more MPs close to him from smaller parties, Macron needs to ensure an absolute majority and adopt laws.

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