More than populist, I’d call Marine Le Pen’s party fascist. And I believe that the key factor of Macron’s victory was the so-called “republican alliance,” sprung into action several times in French history to repel the perceived enemies of democracy. That said, if we look at the numbers, we see that Macron got 19 million votes in the second round while Le Pen got 10.5 million, but we have 16 million French who have chosen to hand over a blank vote or abstain. This denotes a major crisis for the two traditional parties — neither of them made it to the ballot — and at the same time, it tells us that a large portion of people do not feel represented. We will have to wait and see who will take the majority in the next parliamentary elections, those for the National Assembly.
Obviously, the liberal recipes of Macron’s program cannot represent workers.
Macron began with 23 percent in the first round, but for two years and until 2016, he was a minister in Hollande’s government. He backed out not to avoid being burdened by the responsibility of laws adopted under Hollande, which led the Socialist Party to such a record low, it’s almost disappeared. The central point of his program, on which I think the unions will fight back, is the attack on collective bargaining. As has already happened in Italy, Spain and England, it aims to question the fundamental rights of labor, the role of collective bargaining and trade unions.
So, must any answer from the unions be expressed in European terms?
For us, the answer must surely be European, even in the action that the unions can put in place. We must revise the treaties, starting with the Fiscal Compact, addressing the high levels of unemployment with new investment policies, defend and qualify collective bargaining rights, including for those who are on the margins like the unemployed and temporary workers.
What about a minimum wage for the entire continent? The CES, the European trade union, is pointing at single standards to avoid dumping.