French Socialists, far left, unite to fight Macron in general election – POLITICO

France’s Socialist Party and far-left France Unbowed agreed in principle on Wednesday to form an electoral coalition to improve their chances in this summer’s general election – and to dethrone President Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary majority.

“There is now an agreement in principle between the France Unbowed delegations and the Socialists,” called France Unbowed National Coordinator Adrien Quatennens on France Info TV, while adding that the pact has yet to be agreed by the National Council of the Socialist Party.

In principle, the agreement – which includes the Greens and the Communists – means that the parties will run under a common program and field a common candidate in the National Assembly elections on 9 and 12 June. The agreement supposedly allow a socialist candidate running unopposed in 70 constituencies.

The electoral pact unites the once dominant socialists with the communists and greens in a “Social and Ecological People’s Union‘ alongside France Unbowed and its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

If confirmed, it would be the first formal coalition of the French left since the Socialist-Green Pact two decades ago. If the deal goes through, the parties will campaign on measures such as raising the minimum wage, capping the prices of essential products and lowering the retirement age to 60.

But the deal, which follows deals agreed earlier in the week between France Unbowed, the Communists and the Greens, is likely to cause concern in Brussels.

Under the terms of their agreement on Monday, the Greens and France Unbowed said they were “ready to flout EU rules”. Green MEPs later criticized the move, arguing that ignoring EU law could jeopardize the bloc’s future.

“EU law is already suffering from verbal attacks from people like [Hungarian Prime Minister] Victor Orban and [leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party] Jarosław Kaczyński … if the French do it too, there is a risk that the whole EU construction will collapse,” said Belgian Philippe Lamberts, co-chair of the Greens group in the European Parliament.

Mélenchon, a longtime Eurosceptic, called for renegotiation of the EU treaties and disregard for European law during his presidential campaign in order to push through his programme.

It comes as France Unbowed cemented itself as the dominant left-wing power in the first round of France’s April presidential election, finishing third with 22 percent, just a point behind far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. In contrast, the Socialists received just 1.8 percent of the vote, their lowest result ever. while the other left-wing parties were also below 5 percent. French Socialists, far left, unite to fight Macron in general election - POLITICO

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