PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday (June 10) that he was confident French voters would make the “right choice” in snap elections he called after the far right crushed his centrist alliance in Sunday’s EU ballot.

His surprise move came after mainstream centrist parties kept an overall majority in the European Parliament in Sunday’s elections, but the far right notched up a string of high-profile victories in Italy, Austria and France.

In Germany, where the three governing coalition parties also performed dismally, centre-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesman ruled out a snap vote.

Analysts say Macron has taken the risky gamble of dissolving the national parliament in a bid to keep the far-right National Rally (RN) out of power when his second term ends in 2027.

“I am confident in the capacity of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations,” Macron wrote on X on Monday.

His announcement of elections for a new National Assembly on June 30, with a second round on July 7, has sparked widespread alarm, even from within the ranks of his party.

“By playing with fire, the head of state could end up by burning himself and dragging the entire country into the fire,” Le Monde wrote in an editorial.


Despite the storm of criticism, Macron appeared unfazed Monday as he visited the site of a massacre by Nazi soldiers during World War II together with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

He was seen shaking hands with Karin Eideloth, a descendant of Adolf Heinrich, one of the perpetrators of the massacre at the southwestern French village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

“In a place like here, we are aware of the danger of far-right ideology,” she said.

Steinmeier said: “Let us never forget the damage done in Europe by nationalism and hate.”

Back in Paris, even some Macron allies expressed dissent over his latest announcement.

Lower-house speaker Yael Braun-Pivet, a senior figure within Macron’s party, indicated that forming a coalition with other parties could have been a better “path”.

“The president believed that this path did not exist,” she told television channel France 2.

Meanwhile, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist, described the prospect of elections just weeks before the start of the Paris Olympics as “extremely unsettling”.

But International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach played down any direct impact on the event.


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