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Emmanuel Macron

Far-Right Surge In Elections Shakes Up European Parliament

The European Union woke up to a grim reality, albeit with few surprises, after the European Parliament elections concluded on Sunday, June 9. As predicted by polls, far-right parties emerged gleeful. According to preliminary results, combined, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) groups secured only four fewer seats than the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the second-largest group in parliament. Including mandates won by unaffiliated parties close to ECR and ID, the far-right easily overtakes the center. The conservative European People’s Party (EPP) received 186 of the 720 seats, and remains the largest group in parliament.

94% Of Americans Want To End Ukraine War, But US Rejects Peace Deal

Polling shows that the vast majority of people in the United States and Western Europe want negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Despite this, NATO opposes a peace proposal made by China and Brazil, and refuses to invite Russia to a so-called “peace conference” that the Western powers are holding in Switzerland from June 15-16. The Institute for Global Affairs of Eurasia Group, an avowedly pro-NATO and anti-Russia consulting firm that has worked extensively with Western governments, published a study this June titled “The New Atlanticism”. The survey found that the 94% of people in the US and 88% in Western Europe want a negotiated settlement to end the war in Ukraine.

The Russians In Ukraine

You may have read or heard about the freakout that ensued after Emmanuel Macron convened a summit of European leaders in Paris last week. At a press briefing afterward, the French president allowed that NATO may at some point send troops to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian military forces. Before I go further, let me suggest a couple of thoughts readers can tuck somewhere in the corners of their minds for later consideration. One, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked. Two, all the Kremlin’s talk about the threat of NATO hard by its southwestern border is nothing more than the distortion and paranoia of “Putin’s Russia,” as we must now refer to the Russian Federation.

Putin’s Nuclear Warning Is Direct And Explicit

The specter of Armageddon has been raised often enough during the two-year old war in Ukraine that the reference to it in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of the union address on Thursday had a familiar ring about it. Therein lies the risk of misjudgement on the part of the Western audience that Putin was only “crying wolf”. Three things must be noted at the outset. First, Putin has been explicit and direct. He is giving advance notice that he is obliged to respond with nuclear capability if the Russian statehood is threatened. Eschewing innuendos or dark hints, Putin actually made a sombre declaration of epochal significance.

NATO Debates Whether To Conventionally Intervene In Ukraine

French President Macron hosted over 20 fellow European leaders in Paris on Monday to discuss their next moves in Ukraine, including the possibility of a conventional NATO intervention, which he said they hadn’t ruled out for reasons of “strategic ambiguity” despite not reaching a consensus on this. His Polish counterpart Duda also confirmed that this subject was the most heated part of their discussions. The very fact that this scenario is being officially considered shows how desperate NATO has become. Russia’s victory in Avdeevka, which was the natural result of it winning the “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” with NATO, prompted policymakers to contemplate what they’ll do in the event that it achieves a breakthrough across the Line of Contact (LOC) and starts steamrolling through the rest of Ukraine.

French Farmers Give Macron A Headache

As French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, under new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, moves ever further to the right, a radical mass movement is again shaking the country. Last year, the biggest workers’ movement for decades mobilised millions across the country in an attempt to defend retirement pensions. This year it is the turn of the farmers to revolt. Six thousand tractors were present at 120 blockades, and at least 16 motorways were brought to a standstill on January 30. Regional government headquarters have been covered with manure, and hypermarket distribution centres — as well as Toulouse airport — paralysed.

Macron Says France Will Withdraw Troops, Ambassador From Niger

French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that French will remove its troops and ambassador from Niger, as the military junta that took over the country in July wants French forces out. “France has decided to bring back its ambassador, and in the coming hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France,” Macron said on French TV, according to AP. “And we will put an end to our military cooperation with the Niger authorities.” The comments show France is backing down from its hardline position on the military junta that ousted Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum.

We Need To Talk About Nahel

What is it about France these days? La republique seems to be ever on the brink of exploding over one or another social question. Twice in the past four months the French have erupted in protests and all too often rioting. In March they took to the streets, burned buildings, burned tires, built barricades, lit bonfires, and made impassioned references to the guillotine in reaction to the Macron government’s plans to neoliberalize the pension system. For a week beginning last Tuesday, cities from Lille to Marseille were set ablaze after the police shot and killed a 17–year-old citizen named Nahel, who was of North African descent.

France: Macron Shuts Down Internet And Fines Protesters’ Parents

As he had threatened days earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron decided to cut internet access in different locations on the outskirts of Paris starting on Monday, July 3. The French Ministry of the Interior explained via a statement that the restrictions are implemented in order to “prevent the abusive use of social media platforms to coordinate illegal actions and incite violence.” Previously, Macron had said that the protests originated from false publications on social media, violent video games and a lack of parental responsibility. He stated that on social media, there has been “unacceptable exploitation of the death of a teenager.

French Workers Take The Streets As Pension Reform Becomes Law

Spontaneous protests broke out in France on April 14, Friday, after the country’s Constitutional Council ratified the increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64, the most controversial aspect of the pension reforms pushed by the Emmanuel Macron-led government. Macron signed the bill into law early on Saturday. Even though the Council struck down certain provisions of the bill, it also rejected the first version of the Referendum of Shared Initiative (RIP) on the implementation of the reforms. The proposal for the referendum was submitted by the MPs from the left-wing New Ecologic and Social Peoples Union’s (NUPES) coalition. The Constitutional Council will decide on a second RIP on May 3.

French Government Bypasses Parliamentary Vote

On March 16, the French government invoked the emergency provision Article 49.3 of the Constitution in the parliament and passed a controversial pension reform, bypassing the parliamentary vote. The decision announced by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to avoid voting on the pension reforms envisaged in the ‘law of amending financing of Social Security for 2023’, provoked ire from progressive legislators of the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES) coalition as well as large sections of civil society. Spontaneous protests have already broken out across the country condemning the forced approval of the bill.

French Workers Launch Indefinite Strike Against Pension Reforms

So far, after weeks of targeted strikes by workers opposing President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the national retirement age and reform the country’s beloved pension system, the French government has refused to change course. That is why unions across different industries raised the ante last week, launching an indefinite strike until workers’ demands are met. As Eric Challal of the Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (SUD) Railway Union put it, “We have no choice, we must make Macron back down, make the employers back down. There is no lack of money in this society… Wages are too low, prices are exploding, the high cost of living, the threat of war… We have this opportunity to fight, all the workers together.”

Macron Says Security Guarantees For Russia Needed For Future Peace Deal

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Russia’s security concerns when it comes to NATO expansion need to be taken into account in any future peace talks and that the West needs to be prepared to give Moscow guarantees. “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table,” the French leader said in an interview that aired Saturday. “One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” Macron added. Any future peace deal between Russia and Ukraine would require a guarantee that Kyiv will remain neutral and won’t join NATO.

Police Launch Violent Crackdown On Paris Refugee Camp

French riot police went on a fascistic rampage Monday evening, brutally assaulting a peaceful tent camp of some 500 refugees at the Place de la République in central Paris. Police used teargas, kicked and beat migrants with batons, tipped refugees out of their tents and assaulted them on the ground. Journalists filming the crackdown were also assaulted. The riot officers threw dozens of confiscated tents into trucks and drove them away. After the square was cleared, a group of several hundred homeless refugees were forced to march north until they reached the outer suburbs around the city, pursued by police throwing teargas canisters as they went.

France: Protesters And Police Clash As Parliament Begins Debating Pension Reform Bill

Protesters took to the streets of Paris on Monday and clashed with riot police as the pension reform bill reached the French National Assembly for debate. Tensions between the demonstrators and riot police were visible, as the police tried to keep protesters at bay with batons, before arresting a few. Yellow Vests and unionist with flares could also be seen joining in with the rally. “Sixty per cent of the French are against this reform and against a certain number of measures which have been taken before. We are under attack from all sides on social justice, in a country that prides itself on its freedom, its fraternity,” said a protester. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a two-year-extension of the working period necessary to earn a full pension in December, triggering the anger of workers and trade unions.
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