By Francis Dubois in France, 20 June 2017:
Since Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential elections and the historic collapse of the Socialist Party (PS) in the presidential and legislative elections, the media is insisting that a great transition is taking place from the PS to Macron’s Republic on the Move (REM). …
And last week, at the Vivatech conference in Paris, Macron insisted that during his presidency, France would take on new life, along the lines of a young tech company: “I want France to be a nation of start-ups, a nation which thinks and acts like a start-up.”
This fantasy narrative, on which the media based their promotion of REM and Macron—and which provoked legitimate distrust, doubts and hostility in the population—is misleading from top to bottom. …
They are drawn virtually exclusively from the most privileged forces and will run a government whose social base is limited to the layers closest to the financial aristocracy in the affluent middle class and the security forces.
The startling 57 percent abstention in Sunday’s legislative election underscores again their isolation from the vast majority of the population, a fact that even the media outlets closest to REM are compelled to admit.
The daily Libération noted, “According to interior ministry data, more than half of the candidates nominated by REM are in management or higher-level intellectual professions … three times their weight in France’s working population.” It added, “REM is also the party which has the most forces drawn from management in the private sector (18.4 percent), doctors (21 of 537 candidates), and university professors (17).”
Approximately one-third of Macron’s candidates, or 156 people, ran their own businesses, a fact that provoked the following comment from Le Monde: “In general, the so-called ‘civil society’ represented in REM is made up of CEOs, doctors, lawyers, private-sector managers or advisers to political officials. The Republic that is on the march there is that of the higher social and professional categories, of dynamic managers, and important people in the provinces.”
L’Obs for its part observed the large weight in REM of “business owners, CEOs, leaders of start-up firms, and small business leaders” and quoted Médiapart: “The Republic on the March is a … world of people who are doing pretty well, or rather very well, just like the main electoral base of Emmanuel Macron.”
The educational backgrounds of the REM candidates was equally revealing. According to Le Monde, around 40 percent of them came from the so-called grandes écoles, major schools where entrance is dependent on special examinations that provide leading personnel in state administration, industry, commerce and finance. These include the Paris Institute of Political Studies [or Sciences Po] (50 candidates), the National Administration School (ENA, 10) and the High Commercial School (HEC, 9).
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Another French Minister has gone, now of Defense
For the second time this week, a French minister has resigned. Sylvie Goulard, Minister of Defense,
Dear NOS TV, Ms Goulard was not Minister of ‘Defense’. Macron had renamed her department from the euphemistic ‘Defense’ to ‘Armed Forces department’. Cynically, one might say it is an improvement that a ministry waging neocolonial wars all over the world no longer hypocritically claims these wars are ‘defense’. Though it would have been even less hypocritical to call it Ministry of Wars instead of ‘Armed Forces Ministry’.
has resigned because of an investigation of her hiring staff of her party MoDem in the European Parliament.
Goulard, the highest-ranking woman in the cabinet, writes in a statement that she does not want the investigation to harm President Macron‘s attempts to deal with political corruption scandals. Neither does she want “the honour of the armed forces to be mixed with an investigation that is completely detached from the army”.
Several French politicians are subjects of investigations due to the use of money from the European Parliament for party activities in France itself. That research also focuses on members of Macron’s cabinet. …
This morning, Minister Ferrand of urban planning and housing also announced his departure. This is related to a study of financial malpractice with his company five years ago.
Fri May 26, 2017 | 4:16pm EDT
New French government resists pressure for minister to step down …
President Emmanuel Macron‘s government faces ethical questions just over a week after it was formed after media disclosed that Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron, had rented business offices from his female partner and had also employed his son as a parliamentary assistant.
The media spotlight on Ferrand, who is minister for urban planning and housing, is embarrassing for the new president, who has made it a priority to clean up a French political scene that is frequently beset by corruption scandals.
Homophobia, anti-Semitism in Macron’s party: here.