French policy will continue to be shaped by US and EU via NATO: Analyst

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

The analyst says there were no political victories in the French elections and that major political decisions – both domestic and foreign – will continue to be made by the United States and the European Union through NATO.

In an interview with Press TV, Jean Bricmont, a Belgian political analyst, author and prominent figure in the anti-imperialist movement, said the left’s relative majority in the French parliamentary elections was essentially a “vote of fear” against the far-right National Rally (RN), a party portrayed as “dangerously racist and anti-democratic.”

France’s election this week saw parliament fail to secure a majority of seats. In the second round of voting, a coalition of left-wing parties won the most seats, preventing the far right from gaining power.

To win the election, a party or coalition would need to win at least 289 of the country’s 577 seats in parliament, but all three major coalitions failed to do so.

After the votes were counted, the top three alliances emerged, but none of them managed to gain a majority.

The New Popular Front (NFP), a loose alliance of left-wing parties, won a majority of seats, with 188, a significant increase from the first round, when the far-right coalition was leading the race.

The centrist Ensemble coalition led by French President Emmanuel Macron won 161 seats, while the National Rally and its allies, led by Marine Le Pen, won 142 seats.

Bricmont noted that the left-wing electoral coalition that won the most seats in the French election is “deeply divided.”

“The left-wing electoral coalition is deeply divided, with its right-wing Socialist Party close to Macron and very distant from its largest component, Les Insoumis (The Unbroken), led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who is currently the most demonised political figure in France,” he told the Press TV website.

Macron, whose coalition has lost about a third of its seats, must now sit down with his political opponents – the centre-left Socialists and the centre-right Republicans – and form a coalition government.

Bricmont said the election results were a clear verdict against the policies of the Macron government, but hastened to add that rejecting his policies did not entail any identification of an alternative.

“Even where it seems like a majority is against Macron’s pension policy or the escalation in Ukraine, that majority is split between the left and the right, which will never unite,” he noted.

Far-right forces in France, represented by the National Assembly, continue to gain ground and in these elections they will win 125 seats in parliament, compared to 89 seats in 2022 and 8 in 2017.

Bricmont said that although Le Pen’s RN party came third, it did not decline as reported.

“She simply failed to win the seats she could have won had the other two blocs — the left and Macron — not abstained,” he said.

“The RN is growing largely because the left refuses to address the concerns of its voters, such as immigration and social deterioration. That is unlikely to change.”

Responding to Mélenchon’s statement, made after the election results were announced, that France would recognise the State of Palestine, Bricmont said it was “extremely unlikely” that the leader of the Unbowed would be able to determine France’s policy towards Palestine.

“Ultimately, the entire demonisation campaign (similar to that against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK) stems from his ‘anti-Semitism’, which is only expressed in his support for a Palestinian state (which is official French policy, but not ‘at the moment’) and his refusal to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organisation,” he told the Press TV website.