After more than a week of riots that shook most of France, calm has returned, but public and political debates continue.
At the UELE (University of Aix-Marseille Entrepreneurship Summer University), government officials made a concerted effort to offer a structured perspective, several of them privately expressing relief that riots did not escalate and frustration with the very economical redistribution. A country can still have such sensitive cultural and political divisions.
Although there is a lot of talk in Aix about the government’s performance, readers should take the hints of a cabinet reshuffle (and a change of prime minister) seriously. Elizabeth Bourne, the current prime minister, has not been doing well since the start of the year and it is widely expected that a prime minister with a more defining public figure will be needed.
A lot of time can be spent trying to understand the forces behind the protests, but from a political perspective, there are two things worth noting.
On the other hand, France is moving closer to the right politically, as is the rest of Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece and now the Netherlands where Mark Rutte’s government fell). Opinion polls published in newspapers such as Le Monde showed that the French wanted more punitive measures against troublemakers and more measures to maintain public order, such as more police in the streets. There have been no official opinion polls since the riots, but “moderate” comments favor a move to the right, and in general left-wing politicians such as Jean-Luc Melenchon are not seen as doing well.
The second point, related to the previous one, is that, at least for the right, the 2027 presidential election has begun and we are seeing how far the leading candidates of the right (Eric Ciotti, Laurent Wakis, Edouard Philip) will succumb to the temptation to become more outspoken on issues like identity and immigration. In particular, Eric Zemmour, on the far right, has not hesitated to do so, while Marine Le Pen has generally spoken little (his replacement Jordan Bardella is more active in the media) but serves as a banner for the ‘far right’.
Internationally, images of riots harm France, detract from its prestige, and project its foreign policy. Emmanuel Macron recognized this, too, by declaring that such a scene was unlikely to happen in Germany.
As France, like most other countries in Europe, shifts politically to the right, attention shifts to July 14, not only the general mood, but also signs of change in politics and the make-up of government in France.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Mike O’Sullivan
<< اقرأ أيضًا: تصنيف أفضل 10 جامعات في العالم | أوروبا تحتل خمسة مراكز ، لكن فرنسا الغائب الأكبر! >>>