“Lame Duck”, “Blocked Republic”… the foreign press is amused by 49.3 and the French political crisis
“Admission of weakness”, “failure”, “trousers”: many headlines in the French press this Friday castigate the use of article 49.3 to pass the pension reform, and project themselves on the political and social crisis to which could face Emmanuel Macron. But abroad too, the crazy political day on Thursday, marked by political twists and then excesses, aroused many comments, often very severe, sometimes mocking.
Images of the Marseillaise in the Assembly or burning trash cans have toured the planet, and editorialists mostly criticize a pension system that they find “particular”. More measured in its criticisms, the international press nevertheless draws up the same observation of a weakened president and an explosive social situation in France.
Thus, the subject remained at the top of the site of the prestigious New York Times for hours Thursday night. The journalists of the American daily stress that “the conflict over pensions reveals a weakened and more isolated Macron”, while in GermanyDie Zeit judges that “this reform will weigh on the country for a long time” and titles “the blocked Republic”. “Confidence in the president and parliament, already at half mast, suffered a further blow on Thursday. Emmanuel Macron is the first responsible. There are reforms from which we never recover, ”judges the German weekly.
“France is not reformable”
Another widely read newspaper across the Rhine, Die Welt even considers that the current situation favors the extreme right, “the biggest rival (by Macron), who knows how to use it intelligently”. Der Spiegel considers that this failure to vote in the Assembly “is not only a serious blow to his will (by Macron) to reform, it also carries the risk that he will waste a large part of his political capital” and evokes “the failure of Macron who wanted to reform France”.
The use of 49.3 symbolizes “the failure of politics and a deep institutional crisis”, says Ana Fuentes in El Pais. For this former correspondent in Paris for the Spanish daily, “Macron, whose popularity is at its lowest, always questioned for his haughty character and disconnected from the street, entered the same phase as his predecessors Alain Juppé, in 1995, and Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2010, when they also reformed pensions. In Italy, the Stampa, sees “a gesture too risky (Who) can now overwhelm the Élysée”.
“The problem for Macron is that he is politically damaged. (…) It is difficult to see a good way out of this mess. Emmanuel Macron could change Prime Minister and try to find a new momentum. But in the short term, it will be difficult for him to restore order in the country, and even more to continue his reformist program”, analyzes The Economist in an article entitled “Did Emmanuel Macron condemn the French government by pushing through its reforms? “.
“This conflict once again gives the impression that France is not reformable, tackles the BBC. Compared to other European countries, the change in the retirement age is far from spectacular. ” THE Guardian imagine that failure would turn Macron into a “lame duck”. Even in Argentina, The Nation considers that “whatever happens in the coming weeks, this pension reform has been an indicator of Macron’s weakness and isolation”.
Closer still, the Belgian neighbors of Le Soir ensure that Macron has made “the choice of force” and “brings the country to a boil”. Finally, more metaphorically, the Wall Street and Silicon Valley newspaper Morning Brew tells its readers that this reform is “as popular as your sister’s new boyfriend”.