Macron confidante appointed leader of En Marche

The party of French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed government spokesman Christophe Castaner as its new leader. A close confidante of Macron's, Castaner will now be tasked with consolidating and developing the power of La République en marche. Macron is securing the future of his party, some journalists write. Others point to dangers in its path.

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Le Journal du Dimanche (FR) /

Macron less hypocritical than his predecessors

Despite the appointment of a new director Macron remains at the helm of his party, Le Journal du Dimanche comments:

“At En Marche, Emmanuel Macron decides everything. And unlike his predecessors at the Elysée he doesn't hide his cards. Jacques Chirac at the RPR, Nicolas Sarkozy at the UMP, and of course François Hollande at the PS: once elected they all pretended they were above the day-to-day running of their party, and swore they had nothing more to do with party business. ... In fact, however, they all continued to pull the strings, though not always successfully... With the current head of state the opposite is the case.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Movement has become a classic party

With the transformation of his En Marche party Macron is pursuing a clear goal, Tages-Anzeiger explains:

“To preserve power and push through the policies of renewal Macron is turning his movement into exactly what it wasn't supposed to be: a classic, powerful party. ... He is acting on the assumption that this is the only way to gain election mandates at the local, regional and European level in the next years. And Macron urgently needs these victories if his reform policy is to be translated into action in every corner of France. Plus: Macron hopes the mandates En Marche wins in the mid-term elections will pave the way for his re-election in 2022. The spontaneous catch-all movement trick got Macron into the Elysée. But he won't be able to repeat it.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Local politicians are the sole opposition

Even if Macron is in a strong position he must avoid alienating one part of the opposition in particular, Le Figaro comments:

“In fact the only people who can stand up to him with force and determination are the right-wing and left-wing local politicians, thousands of mayors, prefectural councillors and regional presidents. Over the course of the summer this opposition grew with the cutbacks in employment support programmes, and it really took off after new budget cuts were announced. Since then it seems nothing can control their anger. Beware, danger! Emmanuel Macron must regain their confidence, because if he alienates the regions his relations with the people of France could be permanently weakened.”