France: triumph for Greens, setback for Macron

The Greens are the big winners of the second round of local elections in France, taking key cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. Until now Grenoble was the only large French city to have a Green mayor. Emmanuel Macron's LREM party cut a poor figure in the elections. Commentators believe the Covid-19 pandemic has also played an important role in the outcome.

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Libération (FR) /

Lockdown paves the way for change

Editor-in-chief Laurent Joffrin explains in Liberation what has given the Green party a boost:

“Carried by a wave of environmental awareness, undoubtedly enhanced by the introspection prompted by confinement and reinforced by the mobilisation of the younger generation, the Greens have confirmed the test run of the European elections and find themselves for the first time at the helm of key administrations. With one key caveat: benefiting from the incumbent's advantage which gives them credibility, the Socialists, resilient at the local level, gave them considerable help [through electoral alliances]. It seems the left is not dead after all…”

Der Standard (AT) /

Paying the price for poor crisis management

The French president is on the defensive, says Der Standard:

“Macron is paying the price for his poor crisis management. Compared with Germany his response came too late and was too harsh. ... The lockdown decreed by Macron in mid-March failed to prevent a high death toll - and simply knocked the economy out. It will be a long time before France reocovers from this blow. ... France currently resembles a field of ruins: neither the structural yellow vest crisis nor the virus have been overcome, and the nation has been in a state of permanent turmoil ever since.”

ABC (ES) /

Voters still waiting for renewal

Macron's unfulfilled promises have exacerbated the people's frustration with politics, ABC concludes:

“The French people's obvious lack of interest in this round of elections - abstention was at a record level - could be attributed to the exceptional circumstances of the Covid 19 pandemic. But it could also be attributed to the sense of disappointment that has become widespread in the three years of Macron's presidency after he came to power presenting himself as an alternative to the traditional parties but has still not been able to translate his promises of renewal into reality.”