Bruno Le Maire and Emmanuel Macron, cohabitation under tension

A proof of love, finally. Monday April 15, Bruno Le Maire receives a handwritten note from Emmanuel Macron. The head of state thanks him for his latest book, The French Way (Flammarion, 2024, 160 pages, 15 euros), published on March 20, which he received as a preview a few weeks earlier. He also thanks the Minister of Economy and Finance for his “fidelity” by his side, “since 2017”. Words that go straight to the heart of the host of Bercy, a “affective”testifies those around him, ” sensitive “ to this mark of attention from the president. Especially after weeks of tension.

A marriage of convenience sealed in 2017, the relationship between Mr. Macron and Mr. Le Maire went through a zone of turbulence at the beginning of spring. Alerted by the deterioration in the situation of public finances – at 5.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), the budget deficit for 2023, published at the end of March, turned out to be much higher than Bercy’s forecasts – the minister attempted , with a touch of candor, to impose the idea of ​​an amending budget before the summer.

In his eyes, this is the only way to quickly restore public finances, the deterioration of which is becoming a burden for the government. However, he knows that the head of state is hostile to it. It prevents. His office contacted six elected representatives of the majority to try to rally them to the hypothesis, as reported The echoes.

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This is the second time since the start of the year that the minister has pushed in this direction. The second, also, that Emmanuel Macron refuses it. Too anxiety-provoking for the country. Too politically risky, a few weeks before the European elections on June 9. For the right, the opportunity to bring down the government would be too good.

Gabriel Attal is also worried about the idea of ​​a price being put on his head. The young prime minister sees the maneuver, and the series of 49.3 – this article of the Constitution allows a text to be adopted without a vote – which he would be forced to table in June, in order to have this amending budget adopted. “You know, Gabriel, if you jump, we jump too”a lieutenant of Bruno Le Maire tried to reassure him.

“The page is turned”

The Minister of the Economy, however, thinks he can get his former colleagues from the Les Républicains (LR) party on board. How can you oppose a savings plan when you claim to embody rigor? “It may be my idealism, but I consider that it is always better to involve everyone, democratically”, he believes privately. Better still, this would allow the right to be caught in its own trap, by confronting it with its spending proposals, and therefore its contradictions.

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