Although the French president announced that he would meet on July 14 to draw up “a first balance” of the “one hundred days of appeasement” that he himself decreed on April 17, his intentions remain a mystery. Between a government reshuffle, an interview or a speech, Emmanuel Macron keeps things unclear.
A remodeling, a speech, an interview? On Monday, July 10, the Élysée left unclear what Emmanuel Macron’s intentions would be for Bastille Day, July 14, at a time when the head of state is expected to speak about his response to the riots. and of his “balance” of the “hundred days” that are supposed to relaunch his five-year term.
“Nothing is set in stone, nothing is decided, everything can change at any moment,” the Presidency told reporters, before adding the platitude, in an even more enigmatic tone: “We can only ignore what is not.”
The hypothesis of a televised interview on Friday on the occasion of the National Holiday celebrations, which was still held last week, now seems less certain, or even in the process of being ruled out. As for an official speech, he has been flatly ruled out by the president’s entourage, which limits itself to assuring that he will address the French again “before the summer vacation.”
On April 17, when he decreed “one hundred days of appeasement” and “action” to put an end to the pension crisis that had devastated the beginning of his second five-year period, the president had nonetheless announced that he would take stock on July 14. .
The death of the young Nahel, killed on June 27 by a policeman during a roadblock, and the nights of urban violence that followed have raised expectations: although he has been constantly at the helm, Emmanuel Macron has not directly addressed the French. Therefore, July 14 should be an opportunity for him to clarify the direction he intends to take during the remainder of his mandate.
Not to speak would be “baroque”, according to a person in charge of the presidential side. “Lunar”, added an adviser to the Executive.
Elisabeth Borne tries to regain control
Emmanuel Macron’s entourage considers that “the promise of a hundred days of action has been largely fulfilled”, with the president once again in contact with the French to launch major projects, such as the reform of the professional baccalaureate and measures to revitalize the industry French while making it more ecological.
“We anticipated that, after the pensions, the executive would be hampered and Parliament blocked. It must be said that this is not the case,” we added.
For the moment, it is Elisabeth Borne who has publicly taken stock of the “one hundred days”. “We have complied”, said the prime minister in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien Dimanche – As if to confirm, with this praiseworthy Anglicism of the results obtained, the “techno” image that sticks to the skin.
This interview, and the meeting that she held on Wednesday with unions and businessmen to set the social agenda for the coming months, could seem to be indications that the head of government has been confirmed in her post.
However, no one in the French government ventures to draw such a conclusion, including those who, a fortnight ago, were sure that Élisabeth Borne had obtained a new pardon.
Darmanin en Matignon
At the end of last week, the rumor mill was back in full swing, predicting an imminent Cabinet reshuffle over the weekend. A senior minister even admitted that he expected a change at Matignon on Friday.
But the weekend passed… and none of it materialized. “The entourages and the different circles promote their theses without knowing what is really going to happen,” deciphers an advisor to the Executive. Translation of a macronista executive: certain people close to Emmanuel Macron continue to insist that Élisabeth Borne must be replaced by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin -even more so after the riots-, and that priority must be given to restoring order.
This week, the head of state has a packed agenda. Until Wednesday night he will be in Lithuania to attend the NATO summit. On Thursday he will chair a Council of Ministers, will speak at the Hôtel de Brienne for the traditional reception of the Ministry of the Armed Forces before Bastille Day and will receive Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his guest of honor at the parade, until Friday. military on July 14.
These commitments postpone, at the earliest until next weekend, a remodeling that many in his environment continue to consider essential to eliminate the weak links. The option for Élisabeth Borne to resign at that time, to be immediately reappointed by Emmanuel Macron to form a new team, has circulated internally, though not guaranteed.
“We have to know how to close this page, so that everyone knows what comes next,” sighs a minister on a tightrope.
*With AFP; adapted from its original in French