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Macron, a president in the decline of the Fifth Republic

France’s media-friendly President Emmanuel Macron assumed the French presidency for the first time in 2017. In his inaugural speech, he said that Europe needed “a France that is strong and sure of its destiny and that carries the voice of freedom”.


Protest against the retirement reform. France. Photo by Dr. Vincent Mercier / Flickr. Creative Commons License.

Miguel Ángel Ferrís


In just seven years, his conception of the exercise of power and his neoliberal policies have left French democracy at the feet of a far right that is accelerating the hidden crisis of the Fifth Republic and paving the way for the fragmentation of the European Union into multiple, predictably confrontational national identities.

The risk of repeating history, with actors and countries changing but serving the same interests, is putting the country’s political and social left on alert and alarming European public opinion. The elections to the EU parliament on 9 June left a confused picture, the outcome of which has put broad sectors of the public on alert.

Precisely when the embers of Brexit are dying down and British Labour is expected to return to government, the Europe of Welfare, Rights and Freedoms, which this country left divided and confronted by fake news and neo-con thinking, now finds itself with a possible scenario of historical regression and reinforcement of the empires with which it competed in two World Wars.

Macron, used to financial and casino capitalism, has decided to redouble his bet on an ‘all or nothing’ that resembles more the so-called ‘Russian roulette’ of the cornered Russian officials in the face of their certain defeat, than the simple game of investments, profits or losses of the traditional Free Market system. But in reality he has a Plan.

Some voices in the country’s broad opposition suspect that the unexpected and incomprehensible call for an early election in the middle of his presidential term is aimed at bringing the ultra-right into government. In this way, the latter is burning politically in a tortuous administration in a France in turmoil and confronted on the streets by the left. And so his figure (that of Macron) will once again be valued as the only possible brake on the nomination of Marine Le Pen, his real opponent.

Such a move was already made in 2002 by the conservative candidate Jacques Chirac, when the progressive split prevented a second round with the socialist Lionel Jospin, favourite in the polls. The reaction to the rise of the National Front was the overwhelming majority the former (Chirac)  won in the second round. Macron has already used this tactic twice in previous presidential elections and is preparing to use the same alibi now.

With a very high personal discredit, as a result of wearing himself out by going against the will of the people, and a recent electoral approval rating of 14%, the risk he is taking for the French welfare state model and its traditional regime of rights and freedoms is maximum, perhaps suicidal.

Macron’s personal risks are minimal, given that, in the future, people like him are assured of positions in international organisations, big banking or on the boards of directors of French public companies.

However, his gamble accelerates the end of the Fifth Republic, whose Constitution, approved by referendum in 1958, is based on the Declaration of Human Rights (1789) and the Charter of the Environment (2004), the denial of which is part of the political discourse and practice on the international agenda of the extreme right, now on the rise.

We are on the verge of a multiple confrontation that is taking place in a European scenario that is being fuelled by warmongering, submission to US geostrategic and commercial interests, judicial and media warfare and the construction of a new ‘scapegoat’ to channel the discontent and frustration of the social majorities hit by the successive crises, namely immigration and the ‘Islamist danger’, already adopted by the electoral programmes of the right wing.

Two months ago in Paris, a coalition of all the progressive social and trade union movements was set up to put a stop to Macron’s liberticidal and authoritarian rule. Nothing foreshadowed the brutal rise of the extreme right, with a total of 36%, in a country where the anti-Le Pen “republican cordon” had always been in place.

Photo by Miguel Angel Ferris.

The day after the shock of the results of the European Parliament elections, the process of convergence of the LFI (La France Insoumise), ecologists, socialists and communists accelerated, to be joined by five trade union forces with a representative majority, and organised civil society.

The legislative election demonstrations will be a crucial test for the ruling conservative forces, which are governing and have options.

On the other hand, the anti-fascist protests will take place in the run-up to the Paris Olympic Games, which will begin on 26 July, preceded by numerous public events and an extreme system of citizen control under the pretext of maintaining security. Local and international protest actions and actions against the participation of the State of Israel will test the “cohabitation” between the left-wing coalition (Socialist-Ecologists-Communists) of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the repressive trajectory of the Interior Ministry of the Macron government.

Everything is at stake. Alea Jacta est! ( The die is cast)

(Translated by Rene Phelvin – Email: –  Photos: Pixabay


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