Macron Rejects Resignation of His Prime Minister for ‘Stability of the Country’

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and France's Prime Minister Gabriel Attal attend a ce

French President Emmanuel Macron has reportedly refused the offer of resignation from his prime minister despite calls from the far-left to appoint a leftist from their ranks or resign after coming out on top of the legislative elections.

Drama looks to reign supreme in Paris, as the battle for the keys to the Hôtel Matignon has commenced. Sunday saw a surprise victory for the New Popular Front — an alliance of communists, environmentalists, and socialists led by radical Jean-Luc Mélenchon — in the second round of legislative elections after they formed a pact with Macron to prevent the populist anti-mass migration National Rally party from securing a majority in the parliament.

Given that no party won an outright majority, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal offered his resignation to the president on Monday morning. Attal became the youngest and first openly gay prime minister earlier this year, after Macron installed him in the position, replacing Élisabeth Borne, whose popularity, plummeted after pushing through a raise to the retirement age without a vote in the National Assembly.

Despite apparently not having the votes for Attal to stay on as his deputy, Macron reportedly asked the PM to not resign “for the moment,” according to Le Figaro. At a meeting in the Élysée Palace on Monday morning Macron beseeched Attal to stay in office to “ensure the stability of the country”.

While Macron’s election gambit effectively blocked the possibility of National Rally president Jordan Bardella from becoming the next prime minister, he did so by artificially elevating the far-left, with his candidates standing down in certain constituencies to give the best chance of defeating the RN.

Following the stunning results for the New Popular Front, longtime leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon demanded that the president either “appoint a prime minister from our ranks” or resign.

There has been widespread concern in France, and elsewhere, that the snap elections called by Macron could result in Mélenchon becoming the prime minister, which many would find untenable due to his radical socialist policies and his history of cosying up to radical Islamist elements and downplaying the rising antisemitism in France.

The leader of La France Insoumise (LFI) — the largest faction within the New Popular Front — Mathilde Panot argued on Monday that Mélenchon should “absolutely not be disqualified” from consideration for being installed in the Hôtel Matignon as PM.

“Jean-Luc Melenchon is the one who has retaught the left how to win, the one who has given hope to millions of people by making 22 per cent to the presidential election… the one thanks to whom the New Popular Front exists.”

However, should the New Popular Front be given the reigns of power, their socialist policies could risk further exacerbating the looming debt crisis, with the country currently being around 3 trillion euros ($3.2 trillion) in debt or around 110 per cent of GDP. The leftist alliance has sought to overturn last year’s pension reforms, which raised the retirement age from 60 to 62, a move that would only add to the mounting debt pile.

Outgoing economy minister Bruno Le Maire hailed the defeat of the populist National Rally in Sunday’s elections but warned on Monday that France is at “immediate risk” of a “financial crisis” and “economic decline” and that the New Popular Front’s “exorbitant, ineffective and dated” socialist approach to the economy would only risk further damage.

“The second risk is an ideological fracture of the nation,” he added, saying that the government “must provide answers to the anger and legitimate concerns of our fellow citizens, in particular, the 10 million who voted for the National Rally. We must act differently. We must listen, hear, and respond without delay, involving all the forces of the nation.”

“Otherwise we will head straight to the blockage and a regime crisis.”

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