France’s left turn: Voters stall the march of the far right - The Tribune India

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France’s left turn

Voters stall the march of the far right

France’s left turn

Photo for representation. Reuters file photo



LESS than three weeks before the Paris Olympics, the French snap election has thrown up a fractured verdict. Political instability is the last thing France wanted ahead of the showpiece international event, even as its allies in Europe and beyond are relieved that the far-right’s strong bid to wrest power has been thwarted. President Emmanuel Macron might have succeeded in keeping Marine Le Pen’s National Rally at bay, but the impressive performance of the leftist New Popular Front (NFP) has weakened his position and that of his centrist alliance. With no group securing a majority, the prospect of an NFP-led minority government or a broad, uneasy coalition is looming large.

A fragmented parliament is likely to undermine France’s stature in the European Union. The Euro Zone’s second-largest economy is set to witness a struggle to build consensus on a common minimum domestic agenda. The message to Macron is clear: his reforms have not endeared him to many sections of the electorate. The Left’s economic programme envisages public spending of tens of billions of euros, partly financed by taxes on wealth. However, the NFP is expected to be weighed down by the pulls and pressures exerted by its prospective allies.

The silver lining for now is that France has stalled the march of the far right. A country founded on the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity has shown the way to the world. The French voter has done well to safeguard the country’s democratic credentials. On the geopolitical front, a majority for Le Pen’s party would have been a big blow to the West amid the Ukraine war. Possible reduction of France’s military support to Kyiv and a softer stance towards Moscow would have made things tougher for the US-led NATO. All that seems to have been averted, but what Paris still needs is a stable government. That would be in the best interests not only of France but also of Europe and the world at large.

#Europe #France


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