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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Mayor of southern French town bans smoking in cars

The mayor of a town in southern France has banned smoking in cars in an attempt to limit forest fires - many of which are caused by carelessly discarded cigarette butts.

Mayor of southern French town bans smoking in cars

With France facing a hot, dry summer, some areas have already been hit by wildfires, while many others in the south of the country are on a high alert.

One of the major causes of the devastating fires is carelessly discarded cigarette butts, so the mayor of the commune of Langlade in the Gard département in south east France, has enacted a special decree banning smoking.

Smoking will be banned in a number of outdoor spaces that do not have facilities, including the town’s soccer stadium, shooting range, archery range, tennis courts – and also bans drivers from smoking in their cars. The decree is in force through the whole of the commune of Langlade.

The decree runs until July 31st and offenders risk a €15 fine – although local authorities told the Gazette de Nîmes that their main priority is raising awareness of the risk of fire from smoking, rather than handing out fines.

The Gard département has already been hit by a wildfire that destroyed several hundred acres, and firefighters have warned that the south of the country is ‘like a tinderbox’ because of the unusually early heatwave and drought that has left land parched.

READ ALSO What to do if you see a wildfire

In France smoking is banned in enclosed public spaces, but is legal in outdoor spaces such as open-air sports grounds and on the outdoor terraces of bars and cafés.

Smoking in a private vehicle is legal, as long as there are no young children in the car. Smoking while driving is not explicitly banned, but drivers can be fined if they are not in proper control of the vehicle.