Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Minority Government: Valls Invokes 49-3 to Secure Passage of the Loi Macron

Manuel Valls announced today that he would resort to Article 49-3 of the French Constitution because the Loi Macron had failed to attract enough support from the ostensible majority to pass. France is now ruled by a minority government, and the hopes of a new beginning raised by the election of Hollande in 2012 are officially dead, along with the always illusory "spirit of January 11." The irony of the situation is that the government has come to this sad pass over the anemic Loi Macron--a watered-down version of the Attali Commission report that has since been further watered down by a month of parliamentary horse trading. Yet despite all this furious backpedaling and bargaining, the left of the left still cannot swallow the modest Macron reforms, while the right will vote against the law, which contains nothing it hasn't supported in the past, solely to embarrass the government. The Valls government is now in a position of utter incoherence, reduced to waiting for something to turn up and without a semblance of unity regarding further reforms.