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A growing realization that President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to hold snap elections in France may backfire sent the French stock market tumbling on Friday to its lowest level in two years, and prompted warnings from the French finance minister that the economy risks stumbling into a financial crisis. Amid growing signs that Marine Le Pen’s far-right party may be ushered to the brink of power, France’s benchmark stock index, the CAC 40, slumped 2.7 percent. The losses capped a weeklong losing streak that sent shares down more than 6 percent, wiping out all the bourse’s gains since the start of the year. Among the hardest hit stocks were France’s biggest banks, including BNP Paribas and Société Générale, which hold hefty amounts of French sovereign debt. Equally worrisome, the risk premium that investors demand to hold French government bonds over Germany’s, a eurozone benchmark, rose to the highest since 2017, the biggest weekly jump since 2012, when the euro debt crisis was underway.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron’s, Société Organizations: CAC, BNP Locations: France
President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly and hold snap legislative elections on June 30 and July 7 has given the far right its best shot at governing France for the first time since the Vichy regime of World War II. The move stunned the country’s political class, including high-ranking Macronists from whom the president’s plans were reportedly heavily guarded. And for much of France, the decision remains perplexing. But make no mistake: France is in danger. Since the 2022 legislative elections denied his electoral alliance a majority in the National Assembly, his coalition has been forced to seek support from other parties, namely the right-wing Republicans.
Persons: it’ll, Emmanuel Macron’s, Macronists, Macron Organizations: National Assembly, France, Republicans, Republican Locations: Vichy, France
He’s poised to become the next prime minister if the French president loses his gamble in the upcoming snap election. Bardella, the National Rally party leader, grew up an only child in social housing in Seine-Saint-Denis, a working-class suburb in the northeast of Paris. Le Pen handpicked the young politician to head the party in 2022 – ending a 50-year-rule by the Le Pen dynasty – and bring a fresh boost to the French populist right. Le Pen, a self-described Bardella groupie, has said she’s always been a great admirer of his and that he shows great maturity. Bardella and Le Pen attend the National Rally party's Congress in Paris, France, November 5, 2022.
Persons: Jordan Bardella, Emmanuel Macron’s, He’s, Denis, ” Bardella, , Macron, Le Pen, Le, Marine’s, Jean, Marie Le Pen, Bardella, Jeff Pachoud, Dominique Moisi, , relatable, Luc Mélenchon, Critics, Eric Ciotti, France’s, Pen, Bardella –, , she’s, Christian Hartmann, Emma Leyo Organizations: Paris CNN —, National Rally, Sorbonne, France, National, Macron’s, BFMTV, Republicans, Rally party's Locations: French, Seine, Paris, France, AFP, East, Africa
US voters don’t take direction from foreigners, and American presidential elections, which play out state by state, are far different from those for the European Union. Another lesson of the European elections is that in an age of inflation, incumbents are vulnerable to a disgruntled electorate. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are smarting from their rebuke in European elections that rewarded far-right parties that echo the continent’s dark past. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s low approval ratings mean he might not even lead his Liberal Party into elections due by the end of next year. Macron, who heads a centrist party that was routed in the European elections, may be betting that the higher turnout in legislative elections could reverse the trend.
Persons: CNN —, Donald Trump’s, Hillary Clinton’s, Joe Biden, Trump, Biden, he’ll, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Justin Trudeau’s, Rishi Sunak, Macron, Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, Le Pen’s, ” He’s, Organizations: CNN, European Union, Canadian, Liberal Party, British, Conservative, “ Make, GOP, Labour Party, Trump, National Rally, Paris Locations: Britain, Europe, Italy, Poland, Normandy, EU
The head of France’s mainstream conservative party on Tuesday called for an alliance with the far right in upcoming snap elections, throwing his party into deep turmoil as the shock waves from President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the lower house of Parliament continue to course through French politics. The announcement, by Éric Ciotti, the head of the Republicans, was a historic break with the party’s longstanding line and its ties to former President Charles de Gaulle. Mr. Ciotti’s call was immediately met with a chorus of angry disapproval from within his own ranks. No leader of any mainstream French political party has ever previously embraced a possible alliance with Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, or its predecessor, the National Front. The elections for the National Assembly, the lower and more powerful house of France’s Parliament, are scheduled for June 30 and July 7.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron’s, Éric Ciotti, Charles de Gaulle, Ciotti’s, Macron, Ms, Le Pen’s protégé, Jordan Bardella Organizations: Republicans, Marine, National Assembly, National Rally Locations: Europe
Investors made clear on Tuesday the depth of their concerns over President Emmanuel Macron’s gamble to call for new elections in France, driving up the nation’s borrowing costs, pushing down stock prices and prompting the Moody’s ratings agency to warn it may downgrade French sovereign debt as risks of political instability rise. Mr. Macron’s dissolution of the lower house of Parliament on Sunday after his party was battered by Marine Le Pen’s far-right party in European Parliament elections has ignited concerns that the government could grind to a stalemate. The turmoil has focused attention on France’s fragile finances, and the prospect of legislative gridlock that could undermine the government’s ability to address it. “This decision will not ease the economic challenges facing the country,” Philippe Ledent, senior economist at ING Bank, wrote in a note to clients. Public finances and the performance of the French economy will be “at the heart of the electoral campaign,” he added.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron’s, Le, ” Philippe Ledent, , Macron Organizations: ING Bank, Public, Paris Bourse Locations: France, Paris
What a shock then – and coming days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day - that many German first-timers threw their votes disproportionally behind the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Paul HockenosWhat a shock then – and coming days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day — that many German first-timers threw their votes disproportionally behind the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. A full 95% of German AfD voters said Germany should limit the flow of foreigners and refugees into Germany. Not exactly the credentials of a party you would think would appeal to the next generation of German voters. But they must vent this pique constructively, as the extreme right has no answers to these problems (which, oddly, I’ve heard hard right voters say they recognize.)
Persons: Paul Hockenos, , Read, “ We’ll, Paul Hockenos Hayyan, , Maximilian Krah, weren’t, Adam Berry, doesn’t, , it’s, I’ve Organizations: Berlin CNN, European Union, verve, Greens, Parliamentary, Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, CDU, CSU, SS, Democracy, Nazi, BBC Locations: Berlin, Europe, New Berlin, Austria, Belgium, Malta, Greece, Germany, Hamburg, Deutschland, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, France
Far-right parties across the continent had strong showings, but their momentum did not cause the center ground of European politics to cave in – as many had predicted. Those gains did materialize; far-right groups were expected to secure a record number of seats in the European Parliament, dealing a major blow to the continent’s establishment leaders. Most of the far-right gains were concentrated in countries that elect large numbers of seats: France, Italy and Germany. Several other far-right parties are among the non-aligned (NI) group, predicted to secure 45 seats. The center holdsDespite a far-right surge, the centrist European People’s Party (EPP) was the biggest single winner on Sunday night.
Persons: , Maximilian Krah, Ursula von der Leyen, , Von der Leyen, ” Von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le, ” Macron, Marion Maréchal, Jordan Bardella, Alexander De Croo, ” De Croo, Meloni, Tusk, Giorgia Meloni, Brothers, Benito Mussolini, von der Leyen, Donald Tusk’s, Viktor Orbán, Bas Organizations: CNN, Green, Nazi, European People’s Party, EPP, Progressive Alliance of Socialists, Commission, Ukraine, Marine, Assembly, French, Ministry, Italy’s, Italy, Law and Justice, PiS, European, Fidesz, Greens, Bas Eickhout, EFA, European Green Party, European Commission Locations: , France, Europe, Italy, Germany, Brussels, France’s, , Ukraine, Poland
CNN —Far-right parties are predicted to win a record number of seats in the European Parliament, a result that, if confirmed, would deliver a stinging rebuke to Brussels’ political mainstream and add uncertainty to Europe’s future direction. Most of the far-right gains were concentrated in countries that elect large numbers of seats: France, Italy and Germany. Alternative for Germany (AfD) party co-leaders Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla cheer the exit poll in Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2024. Annegret Hilse/ReutersWhile the far-right surge may further complicate Brussels’ bid for unity, the far-right parties themselves remain relatively divided. Several other far-right parties are among the non-aligned (NI) group, predicted to secure 45 seats.
Persons: Ursula von der Leyen, , , Europe’s centrists, Le, Emmanuel Macron, Jordan Bardella, ” Macron, Brigitte Macron, Stephane Lemouton, Olaf Scholz, Scholz, shored, ” von der Leyen, Alice Weidel, Tino Chrupalla, Annegret Hilse, Maximilian Krah, Roberta Metsola Organizations: CNN, European People’s Party, EPP, Macron’s Renaissance Party, Socialists, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats Party, CDU, EU, Forces, Reuters, Nazi, SS, Brussels Locations: Brussels, France, Italy, Germany, France’s, Europe, Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Kyiv, Berlin
A Surging Hard Right Stumbles Over Its Own Divisions
  + stars: | 2024-06-03 | by ( Emma Bubola | )   time to read: +1 min
Nationalists are surging and expected to make big gains when voters from 27 nations cast ballots starting this week for the European Parliament. But the prospect of success is already raising the question among far-right parties of how far is too far. Today, the hard right is a movement marbled by fissures and shifting alliances. Le Pen has offered to form an alliance in the European Parliament, though it is not clear if Ms. Meloni wants to allow her to ride her coattails, as Ms. Le Pen’s party is still scorned by many in the European center right.
Persons: Giorgia Meloni, , , Le Pen, Meloni, Le Organizations: Repubblica Locations: Italy, France, Italian
The unrest in France is also likely tied to how some French people feel about the country’s political atmosphere more broadly. The National Rally also garnered the highest percentage support among France’s political parties in a mid-December poll. In 2022, nearly half of France’s immigrant population had been born in Africa, with the top source countries being Algeria and Morocco, according to INSEE. The French president said in December that the immigration law is “what the French wanted.” And at least one recent poll appears to echo this. And nearly three-quarters (73%) thought the law was inspired by the ideas of the National Rally party.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron, Pen, , Élisabeth Borne, Le Pen’s, Macron –, , Macron Organizations: Republicans, National, Constitutional, Ministry, People, AP, Le, National Institute of Statistics, Economic Studies, National Rally Locations: France, Europe, Germany, Western Europe, Africa, Algeria, Morocco, North Africa
With 23% of the vote, Wilders stands a good chance of leading any future governing coalition. In the Netherlands, forming a majority coalition with Wilders' party was considered unthinkable not long ago. "And Wilders took off in the polls.”In December, a member of Wilders' party became president of parliament, marking a breakthrough in political acceptance. There is now a real prospect of his far-right party joining, or even leading, a majority governing coalition. Rather than far-right parties being pulled to the center, the center may veer to the right.
Persons: SINT, , Geert Wilders, Wilders, ’ ”, Rem Korteweg, , Walter de Jong, De Jong, Mark Rutte, Tom Theuns, ” Wilders, Theuns, ” Theuns, Jean, Marie Le Pen, Le Pen’s, , North Africa —, Mark Rutte's, Frans Timmermans Organizations: Party, Freedom, European Union, EU, Party for Freedom, Rabobank, , Leiden University, National, Frontex, , Pulitzer Center, Crisis Locations: SINT WILLEBRORD, Netherlands, Willebrord, Europe, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, The Hague, Hungary, Serbia, Poland, Rucphen, Sint Willebrord, Ukraine, Soviet, Syria, Turkey, Belgium, Dutch, North Africa, EU
Israel-Hamas War Exposes Divisions in France
  + stars: | 2023-12-01 | by ( Colleen De Bellefonds | Dec. | At P.M. | )   time to read: +10 min
"Many people have taken sides,” says Sandrine, who didn't feel comfortable providing her last name given the sensitivity of the topic. Immediately following the Oct. 7 attacks, Macron condemned Hamas and supported Israel’s right to defend itself. “The explicit prohibition of Palestinian demonstrations is something very recent and, in my opinion, a massive political mistake,” Lazar says. The RN, which denounces mass immigration to France from largely Muslim countries, also views Israel as a beacon of democracy in the Arab world. "He needs to defend what [Hamas does] without saying he supports them directly" as part of the Palestinian cause, says Lazar.
Persons: , Sandrine, Emmanuel Macron, Macron, Marc Lazar, ” Lazar, Mahmoud Abbas, Israel, Marc Hecker, “ That's, Hecker, David, Goliath, Joe Biden, Jean, Marie Le Pen, Marie Le Pen’s, , Le, Le Pen, , ’ ”, Yves Camus, Luc Mélenchon, , Lazar, Mélenchon, they’re Organizations: Hamas, Montaigne Institute, Sciences Po, West Bank, Center for Security Studies, French Institute of International Relations, French Institute of Public, Palestinian Authority, U.S, National, La France, National Assembly, National Front, Israel, FN, Marine, Rassemblement, Institute of International Relations, Strategic Studies, European Jewish Congress, Locations: Paris, Israel, France, Gaza, Western Europe, Egypt, Jordan, Syria
Dutch shock points to tremors in Europe’s core
  + stars: | 2023-11-23 | by ( Rebecca Christie | )   time to read: +4 min
Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV party, Geert Wilders speaks to the press following the exit poll and early results in the Dutch parliamentary elections, in The Hague, Netherlands November 22, 2023. The results add to the sense that Europe’s core is starting to rot. Even if Wilders drops his most radical ideas, mainstream conservatives, who won 24 seats, may have reservations about supporting his cause. The Dutch results, combined with German political turmoil, likely put paid to hopes of a deal on Europe’s fiscal rules by year-end. Europe’s core, the bloc’s lynchpin during the euro zone crisis, is now a shaky foundation.
Persons: Geert Wilders, Yves Herman, Mark Rutte, Wilders, won’t, Giorgia Meloni, , Rutte, Neil Unmack, Streisand Neto Organizations: REUTERS, Rights, Reuters, EU, Party, Freedom Party, Labour, Italian, Green, People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Thomson Locations: The Hague, Netherlands, Rights BRUSSELS, Wednesday’s, Hague, Europe, Ukraine, Israel, France, Germany, Dutch, Belgium
Far-right parties are propping up coalitions in Finland and Sweden. Afraid of losing voters to UKIP (and other far-right parties), the governing Conservatives ended up adopting many of its positions. Chesnot/Getty Images Europe/Getty ImagesConversely, far-right parties have attempted to sanitize some of their rhetoric, hoping to appear a more credible electoral prospect. Leon Neal/Getty ImagesA different type of populismAnd so the recent successes of far-right parties cannot be explained by dramatic shifts in public opinion. A lot depends on the ability of mainstream parties – particularly on the left – to build tents big enough to accommodate their differences, rather than compromising with far-right parties to prop up their coalitions.
Persons: Donald Trump, , Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel’s, Mario Draghi, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Viktor Orban, Andrej Babis, Czech Michael Bloomberg, Czech Donald Trump, Meloni, Mussolini, Nigel Farage, Jack Taylor, Farage, Jean, Marie Le Pen, Marine, Lionel Jospin, Jacques Chirac, Petteri Orpo, Sanna Marin, Vilhelm Junnila, Ulif Kristersson, Mark Rutte’s, Pen, Chesnot, Philippe Marlier, ” Le, Matteo Salvini, Vladimir Putin, Tino Chrupalla, Alice Weidel, Thomas Lohnes, Omer Messinger, Larry Bartels, Boris Johnson, Leon Neal, Giorgia Meloni, Odd Andersen, Orban, Kaczynski, Rutte’s, Pedro Sanchez Organizations: CNN, White, Channel, European Central Bank, Italy’s, Vox, UK Independence Party, UKIP, European Union, EU, Conservatives, National, Socialist, Socialists, Finns Party, Swedish, Sweden Democrats, Rassemblement National, University College London, Lega, Ukraine, Russia, Former British, Italy's, NATO, Getty, Spain’s Locations: United Kingdom, United States, Europe, Brussels, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Czech, France, Finland, Sweden, Austria, European, Netherlands, Russian, Oxfordshire, Vilnius
And what does it tell us about French politics? “Currently, this fund complies with our terms of use because the funds will be paid directly to the family in question. Le Pen also tempered her rhetoric in response to this crisis, in what Marliere said was an attempt to appeal to more middle-of-the-road voters. While Zemmour called the rioters “scum” and called for some of their requests for French nationality to be refused, Le Pen spoke more sympathetically about the victim. “The Meloni strategy is very much what Le Pen is trying to follow in France,” Marliere said.
Persons: Nahel, Jean Messiha, Messiha, Eric Zemmour, Pen’s, Eric Dupond, Moretti, , GoFundMe, , Philippe Marliere, ” Marliere, Florian.M, Pen, Marliere, Zemmour, Le Pen, Le, Emmanuel Macron, Macron, Georgia Meloni, Joseph Downing, Downing, that’s, ” Downing, Nahel Merzouk, Alexis Jumeau Organizations: CNN, National, Marine, , France Inter, BFMTV, Twitter, University College London, AP, Nanterre, Italian, Bois, Macron Locations: France, Paris, Marseille, Nanterre, Clichy
Bardella, 27, won an internal party vote with 85% support, marking a symbolic changing of the guard at the resurgent National Rally party. Marine Le Pen is still expected to wield significant power in the party’s leadership and run again for France’s presidency in 2027. Le Pen said Bardella’s main challenge will be pursuing the party “roadmap” of taking power in France. Bardella had been the interim president of the National Rally since Le Pen entered the presidential race last year. Le Pen lost to French President Emmanuel Macron on her third presidential bid in April but earned her highest score yet.
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