Does Emmanuel Macron now have a better chance than his recent predecessors at reforming the French economy?
Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy EMEA at State Street Global Markets, says YES
With a strong working majority now confirmed in the National Assembly, Macron’s chances of spearheading reform look better than those of past leaders. He will likely face his first test of these efforts soon, with labour market reforms a stated priority for the early days of his presidency. Here, Macron should be able to add some support from members of Les Republicains, the second party in the Assembly, to his own majority. A
At the same time, while still an influential part of the French political arena, the retreat of labour-friendly parties over the last year has been remarkable. This past weekend, left-leaning parties turned in their worst showing in a legislative election since the dawn of the Fifth Republic.
While Macron must recognise that his recent wins come against a backdrop of low voter turnout and that some of his proposals may draw protests from still-influential unions, he has the best chance of any recent French president at enacting reform.
Dylan Kissane, director of marketing at Cosmo Tech, says NO
Emmanuel Macron won the race for the Elysee and has now been achieved a large majority in the National Assembly. But while the French voters may have handed Macron the keys to the car of state, there are far too many in the French establishment ready and willing to pour sugar in the petrol tank.
Macron’s mandate will count for nought if he can’t bring the unions onside when he moves on pension reforms. While he talks a good game on addressing unemployment by investing in innovation, there are plenty who will struggle to support his (slightly) easier to hire and (slightly) easier to fire approach to labour reform.
The country may have just undergone one of the most remarkable political evolutions since WWII but when the summer heat fades and the cool air of autumn brings the protesters into the street for “marching season” once again, it will be obvious that France remains as ungovernable as ever.