Macron to seek comfort in Germany after municipal elections

Obviously, Angela Merkel went to great lengths to console Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday evening, just after the slap in the second round of the municipal elections. Radiant in her off-white blaser, Angela Merkel quickly forgave the slight delay of her guest. She was waiting for him, all smiles, on the forecourt of the castle. Neither handshakes nor hugs, Emmanuel Macron contented himself with folding the bust, while Angela Merkel sketched a namaster laughing. 1.50 m apart. For their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic, the Chancellor had taken care of the decor. A noble place: the Baroque castle of Meseberg, surrounded by a French garden with perfectly pruned beds, residence of the German government for state visits, an hour’s drive from Berlin. An idyllic setting: Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron conversed in the shade of an umbrella around a small table set up by the lake which faces the castle.

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If they had officially met to consult before the start of the German Presidency of the European Council which begins on 1er July, the chancellor could not ignore that the thoughts of the president were also elsewhere, in France. “President Macron wants to forget this debacle as soon as possible”, commented the weekly Der Spiegel. Nothing like erasing the bad memory of Sunday election night as this demonstration of perfect Franco-German harmony against a backdrop of country decor. Asked about the results of the municipal elections during the joint press conference, Emmanuel Macron dodged the question, stressing that Meseberg was not the place to conduct an analysis of the French internal political situation. After all, we had another more urgent subject: to adopt, if possible from the European Council on July 17 and 18, the recovery plan of 750 billion euros proposed by the European Commission a few days after a spectacular Franco-German initial .

Merkel tamed the “Grünens”

Angela Merkel probably did not have much to do to show her empathy for the disconcerted president. Not too long ago, it too was threatened by the green wave. This was before the pandemic demanded its popularity. She did not forget that a few months ago, the Grünen, led by the very popular tandem Annalena Baerbock / Robert Habeck, were a hit every time, while the CDU melted visibly. Accused of lacking punch and ideas, the chancellor seemed to be running out of steam. Some even saw Robert Habeck as the next chancellor. But the coronavirus has radically reversed this situation. Overnight, the Greens practically disappeared from the public debate, while the CDU made a spectacular comeback in the polls. Angela Merkel’s efficient and sovereign way of handling the crisis has won her praise in Germany and around the world. What a contrast with France, where the Covid-19 crisis did not benefit the executive. The second round of municipal elections on Sunday only confirmed the unpopularity of Emmanuel Macron.

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In Germany, where the Greens have long been a real political force to be reckoned with, we observe the results of the French municipal elections with great interest. Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Lyon… all of these town halls, and not the least, where environmentalists now reign. “The current success of the Greens, notes the correspondent in Paris of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, is not the result of political usury. On the contrary, it could contribute to a new revival of interest in politics. Because it was neither party devices nor talk shows that won this election. The new mayors won because they fought around clear and concrete themes. The Greens also take advantage of the fact that, unlike their German cousins, they are rooted in a leftist tradition. The German Grunens are a moderate party which has long been actively involved in the exercise of power. Very present at the level of the communes and the Länder, they also already governed in Berlin within the red green coalition under the leadership of Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer from 1998 to 2002. The black constellation (CDU) -Verte is elsewhere one of the hypotheses frequently mentioned after the elections of autumn 2021.

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