The Greens trounced President Macron’s party and took control of major cities in the local elections. Polls show that the turnout was the lowest since March 2014 with 60 percent of voters choosing not to go to the polls for the second round of municipal elections on Sunday.
This was compared to the 44.66 percent abstention of the first round of March 15, and 36.4 percent at the 2014 election.
Gérard Larcher, president of the French Senate, said the low turnout was a disaster.
He said: “Again, it is the France of abstention that prevails. The health crisis alone cannot explain such low participation.
“The evil is deeper and older. Crisis after crisis, our country is breaking down, mistrust is building up. It is up to us to rebuild confidence.”
Following the humiliation, President Emmanuel Macron promised 15 billion euros of new funding on Monday to speed up the move to a greener economy.
Mr Macron said he would move faster on environment-friendly policymaking and that he was ready to call a referendum on revising the constitution to include climate aims if parliament allowed it.
Mr Macron told members of the Climate Council in a meeting at the Elysee Palace today: “The challenge to our climate demands we do more.”
He also backed a proposal for a moratorium on new commercial zones in city outskirts, and said he would consider bringing in a new law against “ecocide”.
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The party was created shortly before Macron began his bid for the 2017 presidential elections but this is the first time it has competed in nationwide local elections.
Ndiaye told French television: “There are places… where our own internal divisions brought us to results that were extremely disappointing.”
Early in his presidency, Macron’s left-wing opponents derided him as a “president of the rich” as he eased taxes on companies and relaxed worker protections as he enacted reforms to liberalise France’s regulation-choked economy.
The reforms were bearing fruit: growth was robust among euro zone peers and stubbornly high unemployment was falling but the past three years have been mired in social unrest and the pandemic’s impact is reversing some of Macron’s hard-fought gains, as disillusion amongst the leftist faction of his party grows.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega