PODCAST: What’s next for France after Macron wins re-election?

With the results in and Emmanuel Macron having secured a second term as French president, The Local's Talking France podcast breaks down the results and looks ahead at the next few days, June's parliamentary elections and the five years of Macron's second term.

PODCAST: What's next for France after Macron wins re-election?
Image: The Local France

As the results came in, Ben McPartland was joined by The Local France’s editor Emma Pearson and veteran political columnist John Lichfield to try and work out what it all means.

Macron was re-elected with a 17 point lead, the first French president in 20 years to win a second term. However turnout was the lowest since 1969 and of those people who did vote, four in 10 voted for the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Listen to the Talking France podcast on Spotify, Apple, on the link below or download it HERE.

Add this to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the war in Ukraine and the likelihood of further international political and economic turmoil, and Macron has a challenge on his hands.

John Lichfield told us: “I think Macron will push ahead with his reforms anyway, but I hope he has learned from some of his mistakes last time.

“Certainly on the pension reform, he does need to create a platform of agreement with unions, with employers and within society in general before pushing ahead with a scheme that people don’t understand very well and don’t want. 

“But I think he will push ahead – in a sense he has nothing to lose because he can’t run again in 2027 – so I think he will go for broke but I suspect that most of his time, as it has been in the first five years, will be spent fighting fires and surviving crises.”

We’re also looking ahead to the parliamentary elections in June – why they’re important, what is likely to happen and some of the familiar faces that we’re likely to see again.

You can find the whole Talking France series HERE

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French police clear Channel migrant camps after violence leaves one dead

Police dismantled a camp housing hundreds of migrants near Dunkirk in northern France on Wednesday after one person was killed and three wounded in suspected score-settling between smugglers, authorities said.

French police clear Channel migrant camps after violence leaves one dead

Around 500 people, mainly Iraqi Kurds, had been living at the wooded site in Loon-Plage, near a canal that often serves as a key launching point for boats hoping to cross the English Channel for Britain.

Buses stood by to bring the migrants to shelters, but most left instead on foot, carrying what belongings they could.

On Monday night, one migrant was shot and killed and another wounded by what volunteer aid workers described as machine gun fire, the day after two others were also shot and wounded, one seriously.

Ammunition from “weapons of war” were found, Dunkirk’s state prosecutor Sebastian Pieve had told AFP on Tuesday, and a clash between rival smuggling groups was “a theory, but it’s not easy to establish”.

“But it’s certain that human trafficking is the backdrop to this,” he said.

Dawan, a 32-year-old Kurd, would say only “mafia, mafia” when asked by AFP about the shootings.

He said he had recently paid €1,600 to a smuggler who said he would get him to England after spending five months in France, but the man disappeared the next day.

Claire Millot of the Salam migrant aid group said most volunteer associations had quit operating at Loon-Plage out of security fears, adding that Africans and other nationalities had recently been seen in an area usually occupied mainly by Kurds.

More than 7,000 migrants have managed to cross the busy shipping lane and reach the British coast since January, after the number of arrivals tripled to over 28,000 last year — which saw at least 30 migrants die while trying.