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Balance of Power


French Far Right Receives a Resounding ‘Non Merci’

President Emmanuel Macron leaves after voting in the second round of France’s legislative election in northern France on July 7, 2024.

Photographer: Mohammed Badra/AFP/Getty Images

法国总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙在 2024 年 7 月 7 日在法国北部参加第二轮立法选举投票后离开。摄影师:Mohammed Badra/AFP/Getty Images
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Welcome to Balance of Power, bringing you the latest in global politics. Readers of the Paris Edition, Weekend Reading and Economics Daily newsletters are also receiving this special edition. To receive Balance of Power going forward, sign up here.

So did the gamble pay off?

There are many ways to dissect the shocking reversal of political fortunes in the second round of French legislative elections.

There is one interpretation where Emmanuel Macron is rubbing his hands in delight, and where the naysayers who thought he was nuts to roll the dice have been proved wrong. He dared voters to invite the far right into government, and after flirting with the idea in the first round, they resoundingly decided “non, merci.” Marine Le Pen’s National Rally came third, as voter turnout was the highest since 1981.
有一种解释是埃马纽埃尔·马克龙正在欣喜地揉着双手,那些认为他疯狂地冒险的怀疑论者已经被证明是错误的。他敢于邀请选民将极右派引入政府,而在第一轮投票中曾与这个想法调情后,选民们坚定地决定说“不,谢谢”。玛丽娜·勒庞的国民集会排名第三,选民投票率自 1981 年以来最高。

French Election Turnout Highest in 43 Years
法国选举投票率创 43 年来新高

Source: French Interior Ministry, Ipsos

Then there is another, far less charitable take, one where Macron has simply swapped compromise with one extremist group for another and is not really in control of the events he unleashed. The bottom line is that with the far left winning the most seats instead of the far right, he’s simply swapped one devil for another.

And the markets see a scenario where if the far left is calling the shots, then all the hard-won pro-business reforms that Macron fought for could be rolled back. That would be disastrous for the country’s finances. And investors hate surprises. Just ask Liz Truss. the shortest-tenured prime minister in UK history.

So yes, this pendulum swing in French politics — just as Western leaders are wondering about the stability of their democracies as they watch Joe Biden’s struggles in the US — doesn’t end the chaos. It adds to it.

Perhaps the most benign interpretation is that the center-left held, and that days after Labour was restored to power in the UK, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that nationalist populism is here to stay.

The biggest certainty is that the so-called Republican Front is stronger than ever. This political tradition dating back to postwar France, where all parties band together to keep the fascists at bay not only held, it was perhaps, a bit too successful.

First out the gate was the real winner in all this.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, France’s answer to former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — a 72-year-old left winger who is anti-euro, anti-NATO and unapologetically critical of Israel. He aspires to tax the wealthy, increase the minimum wage and cut the pension age. He wants to open the spending flood gates — or else.
让-吕克·梅朗雄,法国对前英国工党领袖杰里米·科尔宾的回应 — 一位 72 岁的左翼人士,反欧元、反北约,对以色列持批评态度。他渴望对富人征税,提高最低工资并降低退休年龄。他希望打开支出的大门 — 否则。

Macron had warned, to some derision, that a victory by the far right or left would spark “civil war.” What will the leader who compared himself to the Roman king of gods say now?

For Socialist Raphael Glucksmann one thing is clear: “It's the end of the Jupiterianism of the Fifth Republic.”

A discarded National Rally leaflet during voting in Paris today.Photographer: Amaury Cornu/AFP/Getty Images
今天在巴黎投票期间丢弃的国民集会传单。摄影师:Amaury Cornu/AFP/Getty Images

The Highlights 要点

The man of the hour is without doubt Melenchon. Before other leaders of the New Popular Front — a makeshift alliance of Socialists, Communists and Greens — could get a word in, the far-left firebrand took center stage at a gathering of followers. “This is extraordinary; two weeks ago you might not have believed this would happen,” Melenchon said, pumping up the crowd with his oratory skills. Later he busted out into a rousing rendition of national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Melenchon reacts during an election night rally.Photographer: Sameer al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images​​​
梅朗雄在选举之夜集会上做出反应。摄影师:Sameer al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images​​​

So who is he? The son of a post office worker and a teacher, both descendants of Spaniards and Italians who emigrated to French Algeria at the turn of the century, Melenchon was born in Tangier, now Morocco, when it was an international zone. He moved to France at the age of 11, studied philosophy, did various jobs including as a journalist and proofreader and got involved in Trotskyist politics. He joined the Socialist Party in 1976 at the age of 25, and was elected to various regional, national and European legislative positions.
那么他是谁?梅朗雄是一名邮政工人和教师的儿子,两人都是西班牙和意大利移民的后代,他们在世纪之交移居到法属阿尔及利亚。梅朗雄出生在当时是国际区的丹吉尔,现在是摩洛哥。他 11 岁时搬到法国,学习哲学,做过各种工作,包括记者和校对,参与了托洛茨基主义政治。他于 1976 年 25 岁时加入社会党,并当选为各种地区、国家和欧洲立法职位。

Why are investors afraid of him? Melenchon often regales crowds with the evils of “extreme markets that transform suffering, misery and abandonment into gold and money.” This is probably the closest markets have come to taking his words seriously. Melenchon considers France a country “with huge wealth that is badly distributed.” He’s a fan of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro and like them launches into fiery speeches, often without a teleprompter and using his trademark mix of humor and anger.

Either way, the squabbling has already begun — and neither the euro nor France’s yield spreads will like the noise coming out of Paris. The tone of defiance that Melenchon has struck will not sit well with bond investors wary of what the implications of his rhetoric — now no longer an idle threat — will mean for France’s deficit.
无论如何,争吵已经开始了 - 欧元和法国的收益差距都不会喜欢巴黎传出的噪音。梅朗雄所表达的挑衅态度将不会受到对他言辞意义的担忧的债券投资者的欢迎 - 现在不再是一种空洞的威胁 - 这对法国的赤字意味着什么。

The election is the beginning of a more turbulent period, according to executives gathered in southern France this weekend. One of the biggest hits could be on the image of France as a top European destination for foreign investment. The country was already entering uncharted territory with the prospect of a far-right government or a gridlocked one. Now the most likely one is the one that France’s 1% feared the most.
选举是更加动荡时期的开始,根据本周末在法国南部聚集的高管们。最大的打击之一可能会对法国作为欧洲外国投资首选目的地的形象产生影响。这个国家已经在前往未知领域,前景是极右翼政府或僵局政府。现在最有可能的是法国 1%最害怕的那种情况。

WATCH: French executives are anxious about the outcome of the French legislative elections.

Jordan Bardella, just a week ago, could already picture himself perhaps as becoming France's youngest prime minister. It was not to be and the 28-year-old and heir apparent to Le Pen is not a gracious loser. He is crying foul about the “unnatural” alliances that shut his party out. Speaking at a rally, he complained that “voting arrangements orchestrated from the Elysee palace by an isolated president and an incendiary left won’t lead anywhere.”
乔丹·巴尔德拉,仅仅一周前,可能已经想象自己成为法国最年轻的总理。但这一切都没有实现,这位 28 岁的继任者和勒庞的继承人并不是一个宽容的失败者。他对让他的政党被排除在外的“不自然”联盟感到不满。在一次集会上,他抱怨说,“由孤立的总统和具有煽动性的左翼在爱丽舍宫策划的投票安排不会有任何好结果。”

Macron has kept a low profile, and continues to do so. In a statement, his office said he would wait until the formation of the new National Assembly was completed before making any decisions: “In his role as guarantor of our institutions, the president will ensure that the sovereign choice of the French people is respected.” Macron, who usually loves to talk, isn’t talking and is keeping cards close to his chest.

Gabriel Attal is falling on his sword. France’s youngest prime minister, hand-picked by Macron as part of his plan to revive his government, says he’ll submit his resignation on Monday. The move, while perhaps not surprising, sends a message that he is differentiating himself from Macron (who could of course ask him to stay on for the Olympics that kick off in Paris this month).

Le Pen speaks to the press following her party’s defeat today.Photographer: Carl Court/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Le Pen is trying to pretend she didn’t have a bad night. Speaking to TF1 Television, she said: “The tide is rising, it hasn’t risen high enough this time, but it’s still rising.” Asked if Macron should resign, she says she is calling for nothing tonight. As we wrote in our Big Take, Le Pen betrayed her own father and political roots to bring her party this close to power. It wasn’t enough.
与此同时,勒庞试图假装她没有度过糟糕的一晚。在接受 TF1 电视台采访时,她说:“潮水在上涨,这次还没有涨得够高,但它仍在上涨。”当被问及马克龙是否应该辞职时,她表示今晚不会提出任何要求。正如我们在我们的重要报道中所写的那样,勒庞背叛了自己的父亲和政治根源,使她的党接近权力,但这还不够。

Chart of the Day 每日图表

Bloomberg Economics 彭博经济学

The shock election win for the left in France will probably herald protracted uncertainty. If and when a government is formed, Bloomberg economists Eleonora Mavroeidi, Maeva Cousin and Jamie Rush see a “quite modest” impact on the public finances at first, but more worrying effects further out. They plot out two possible scenarios. One is a coalition that delivers a net fiscal giveaway of 0.5% of output that would keep the spread of French bonds over German equivalents at about 75 basis points, roughly the average since the snap election election was called. The other is a bigger giveaway totalling 1% of gross domestic product. They reckon this would widen the spread to 100 basis points — and swell debt as percentage of output to more than 118% of output.
法国左翼在选举中的震惊胜利可能会引发长期的不确定性。一旦政府组建完成,彭博经济学家 Eleonora Mavroeidi、Maeva Cousin 和 Jamie Rush 认为,公共财政一开始会受到“相当温和”的影响,但更令人担忧的效应会在更远的未来显现。他们勾画出两种可能的情景。一种是联合政府实施净财政赠与,占产出的 0.5%,这将使法国债券利差与德国债券保持在大约 75 个基点左右,这大致是自提前举行选举以来的平均水平。另一种是总计占国内生产总值的 1%的更大规模赠与。他们认为这将使利差扩大到 100 个基点,并使债务占产出的比例超过 118%。

And Finally 最后

The Clash’s London Calling was booming at the France Unbowed election night headquarters, located in a square in a northern area of Paris known for drug trafficking and squalor. Hundreds gathered in front of a stage from which party leaders Melenchon and Manuel Bompard vowed to take power in the French legislature. Beer and wine flowed and the choice of music was telling including from the Spanish resistance. The song from the English punk rock band of the 1970s was a flick to Labour’s victory across the Channel. Also playing? “On lache rien,” that can be translated to mean “We won’t give in to anything.” At one point an image of Bardella flicked onscreen. There was loud booing and he was drowned out with anti-fascist chants.
冲突乐队的《伦敦呼唤》在法国不屈选举夜总部响起,该总部位于巴黎北部一个以贩毒和肮脏闻名的广场。数百人聚集在一个舞台前,该舞台上梅朗雄和曼努埃尔·邦帕尔党领袖誓言要在法国立法机构中掌权。啤酒和葡萄酒流淌,音乐选择也很有意义,包括来自西班牙抵抗运动的音乐。这首来自 20 世纪 70 年代英国朋克摇滚乐队的歌曲是对英国工党在海峡对岸的胜利的一种讽刺。还有什么?“On lache rien”,可以翻译为“我们不会屈服于任何事情”。有一次屏幕上出现了巴德拉的形象。人们发出了响亮的嘘声,他被反法西斯口号淹没了。

A supporter of left-wing party La France Insoumise holds a Palestinian flag during the election night rally in Paris.Photographer: Sameer al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images
一名支持左翼政党法国不屈运动的支持者在巴黎选举之夜集会上挥舞巴勒斯坦国旗。摄影师:Sameer al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images

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    在 Bloomberg.com 上查看更多新闻简报。

    — With assistance from Henry Seltzer, Alan Katz, Tara Patel, and Vidya N Root
    在 Henry Seltzer、Alan Katz、Tara Patel 和 Vidya N Root 的协助下

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