Tuesday, May 17, 2022

French greens, Melenchon strike deal ahead of legislative election

French greens, Melenchon strike deal ahead of legislative election
May 2, 2022 Web Desk

PARIS (Reuters) - France's Greens have struck a deal with the hard left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed), party leaders said on Monday, as the left seeks to form a joint front against President Emmanuel Macron in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Macron, who won a second mandate last month, needs a majority in parliament to implement pro-business policies, including plans to push back the retirement age.

Early polls ahead of the June 12-19 elections suggest Macron could achieve that, but opposition parties to the left and right are seeking to strike alliances in the hope of naming a prime minister and controlling parliament.

Adrien Quatennens a lawmaker with La France Insoumise (LFI) - Jean-Luc Melenchon's hard left movement, called the deal with the Greens a "historic moment."

Melenchon, who came third in the presidential elections and barely missed qualifying for the runoff behind far-right populist Marine Le Pen, has called on all left-leaning parties to join forces with his movement.

The LFI-Greens deal includes aims of lowering the retirement age to 60, raising the minimum wage and capping prices on essential products, said LFI EU lawmaker Manon Aubry, adding that agreements with other parties of the left would follow.

"This is a popular union around a joint programme ... to govern together," she told France Info radio.

Manuel Bompard, a spokesman for Melenchon's campaign, told France Inter radio that talks with other parties would continue.

Fabien Roussel, who ran for president on a ticket for France's Communist Party, said that an accord for his party to join a leftwing deal for the legislatives was imminent.

During May Day protests on Sunday, Melenchon was also spotted hugging Olivier Faure, the head of France's Socialist Party, a sign of potential unity after talks between LFI and the Socialists were suspended last week.

One major difference between the two is their stance on the EU.