We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

May 05, 2017

Front National - thinking beyond Sunday

Hangover mood among FN supporters. They had high hopes for the debate, but Le Pen's Trump-styled intervention, the permanent ad hominem attacks, her lack of programme, and the exasperated tone at the end, did more harm than good. Only a few inside the party still believe that she can make it on Sunday. Marion Maréchal Le Pen went on television yesterday to deliver the details her aunt failed to, and recover some lost ground. But the deed was done. Though it might not change the determination of FN voters to cast their vote for her, her appearance did not appeal to Fillon voters, nor to the undecided or the abstainers. Inside the party, there is already talk of what to do if she loses. A turnout below 40% would be considered a defeat, one of them tells Marianne. A 45% would be seen as a good defeat. It would position Marine Le Pen as the major opposition against Macron. But her TV performance may have deprived her those votes that would have made this scenario possible. 

The verdict about the debate was clear - 47% of the poll in Paris Match considered that Emmanuel Macron won, against 20% for Le Pen, a record-high gap. But this does not necessarily translate into a change of voters' intentions. Only 4% said they changed their mind, according to Journal du Dimanche. The three latest polls of voters' intentions give Macron a winning majority of over 60%. They show an increased participation compared to the April poll, 75% according to the Ifop poll.

Those who want to abstain or vote blank are called upon to cast their vote. Editorialists remind them that this is an irresponsible choice they are making. Médiapart finds that the second round will be decided in those departments where immigration and poverty is high. They have to deal with racism on a daily basis and many voted for Mélenchon or abstained in the first round. Now they face the choice that will affect their lives more than any others. The article featured some second or third generation immigrants who changed their mind in the last days and decided to vote Macron, as they stand to loose most from a FN win.

What did the French debate looked like from the American perspective, where people had to come to terms with Donald Trump winning? Megan McArdle gave us her take about the debate on Bloomberg. From the US perspective, Macron comes across as earnest, arrogant and smirky, as Hillary Clinton did. Le Pen looked like the down-to-earth aunt who does not take his nonsense. Details don’t matter. Front row kids against back row kids, as Chris Arnade puts it. And Le Pen, like Trump, runs on the tenor that things were better 40 years ago, only that there is no way back. What is different is the electoral system. And Macron is unlikely to be hit by a leak of letters in the last days of campaigning like that which proved so damaging for Clinton. Even the latest rumours of an offshore account in the Bahamas,, rejected by Macron, are unlikely to have this effect. So the centre may prevail in France. Though we fear that the front row-back row fight will not end. 

Show Comments Write a Comment

May 05, 2017

Tusk attacks Juncker over Brexit diplomacy

The negotiating mandate is hardly out in the open, and Brexit has already triggered an inter-institutional conflict in the EU. The European Commission is now under fire from the European Council for the incompetent handling of the private dinner between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May. Frankfurter Allgemeine has talked to Donald Tusk and his people and hears criticism of Juncker - and, we presume, Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr - who leaked the information to a German newspaper. The view from the council is that the leak had gone too far and did not help anybody. The negotiations are going to be difficult enough as they are. And Tusk himself is quoted as saying that if we start to quarrel at the beginning of the negotiations, we will never come to conclude a deal. 

“Too much is at stake for us to yield to emotions. We need discretion, moderation and mutual respect.”

The Commission yesterday doubled down on with an assertion that they will only spend 30 minutes a week on Brexit - which is another way of saying that Juncker is not supporting a Brexit agreement. 

The implication from all this is fairly clear. The Commission is trying to sabotage the process, not very intelligently, while the European Council at least lives in the hope that a deal could be possible. We find it very hard to understand what other purpose this leak could have had than to achieve maximum provocation. 

As we reported yesterday, the hostilities will now accelerate work on a plan B within the UK, that would allow the UK to exit the EU without an Article 50 agreement. We still think that an agreement should be possible - but not along the lines of the EU’s hastily updated negotiating mandate. The draft mandates that had been leaked previously at least constituted a viable basis for negotiations. This has now become more of a gamble.

The easiest way to defuse the financial dispute is for the EU to accept a transitional agreement with more or less everything unchanged - i.e. Brexit, but with interim membership of single market, customs union, and full respect of the four freedoms.

Britain would continue to pay in the EU budget until 2020 when the current multi-annual framework ends.

We think the EU has a right to deny the UK a share of its assets, since the EU is a legal personality in its own right, not a company owned by shareholders. But the quid-pro-quo surely has to be that there can be no current liabilities arising for the UK beyond the day of an exit from the transitional agreement. Likewise, it would be unreasonable for the EU to request continued jurisdiction of the ECJ in respect of EU citizens, and it should try to secure their rights in different ways. The demands as they are phrased now cannot conceivably be fulfilled. It would constitute an extra-territorial power grab by an EU institution. for there to be an agreement, these demands will have to be dropped.

Show Comments Write a Comment

May 05, 2017

Extraordinarily ordinary

The euro working group welcomed the preliminary agreement yesterday, saying that once Greece completes the prerequisites the eurogroup would approve the next loan tranche and resolve the viability of Greek debt in the immediate future on the basis of the May 2016 agreement. Not a very enlightening statement for an extraordinary meeting.

Medium-term debt relief is still elusive. Wolfgang Proissl from the ESM was quoted saying that, if there is some debt relief in the end, it won’t be in the immediate future. It will be only after the programme has ended, and only if such relief is deemed necessary, quotes Greek Reporter. He also said nominal write-offs (a debt haircut) are impossible, 

The eurogroup meeting is on May 22. Before that, finance minsters will meet for the G7 meeting in Bari on May 11-13. This will be crucial to find a solution on debt relief, writes To Vima.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • January 24, 2018
  • AfD europhobe to chair of Bundestag's budget committee
  • Watch out for the Labour Party debate on the single market
  • On the productivity puzzle
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • May 12, 2017
  • What to do with Germany’s tax windfall
  • How Macron counts on building a majority
  • Options for the eurozone
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 02, 2018
  • Is Trump out to destroy both Nato and the EU?
  • Salvini’s empire
  • Remembrance as a way forward?
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • May 09, 2018
  • A moment of truth in the Brexit talks
  • A leap of faith, Mr Kierkegaard?
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • March 19, 2018
  • Waiting for Germany
  • Russia’s friends
  • Can the Commons force an extension of the Art 50 period?
  • February 21, 2018
  • Whom do Wauquiez' indiscretions serve?
  • Latvian claims and counterclaims
  • Some observations about euro-ins and euro-outs
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • December 18, 2017
  • SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition
  • Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait
  • November 27, 2017
  • Will Northern Ireland scupper a Brexit deal?
  • Last-ditch effort to prevent Irish elections
  • Pressure on Wauquiez
  • November 06, 2017
  • Pressures on EU rise over Catalonia
  • German pre-coalition talks hit glitch
  • If you thought UK politics couldn‘t get worse...
  • October 20, 2017
  • Why is everybody so nice to Mrs May?
  • The haphazard Rutte III agreement
  • Liberalism for the French left
  • October 04, 2017
  • On why Theresa May is likely to survive
  • On how to resolve the Brexit talks
  • Social housing - not a good start for the French government
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • September 04, 2017
  • Dutch referendum: never again?
  • Why trade unions stay quiet on French labour reform
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 25, 2017
  • The impact of Duda's veto
  • How to undo Brexit
  • Front National: Frexit or not?
  • July 13, 2017
  • Renzi at war with everybody
  • Referendum game gets real for Catalan government
  • Going about the Irish border issue
  • Brexit facts - who needs them?
  • July 03, 2017
  • Can Greece exit its programme without a credit line?
  • The softening Brexit
  • Macron's state of the nation address
  • June 23, 2017
  • The offer, and what it says about the state of Brexit
  • Meet Germany’s next finance minister
  • When Greek drama meets French drama
  • June 14, 2017
  • Minority governments can be stronger and more stable than you think
  • The anti-Corbyn
  • Watch out for Berlusconi
  • June 06, 2017
  • Towards an Italian crisis
  • Fake news trouble for Macron
  • A new prime minister for Ireland
  • Some thoughts on UK polling
  • May 30, 2017
  • Beer tent politics - Merkel edition
  • Brexit arrives in UK elections
  • Rajoy clears budget hurdle
  • May 24, 2017
  • We are all anti-system now
  • Are the UK’s cards in the Brexit talks really that weak?
  • How Merkel will play Macron
  • May 19, 2017
  • The EU is shocked, shocked by the UK’s stance on Brexit
  • Macron and the press
  • Towards a Buy European act?
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • May 08, 2017
  • A message of hope
  • Barnier's not so easily agreed Brexit principles
  • The rebirth of the paranoid conspiracy theory
  • May 05, 2017
  • Front National - thinking beyond Sunday
  • Tusk attacks Juncker over Brexit diplomacy
  • Extraordinarily ordinary