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TALKING FRANCE

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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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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