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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

French Green party's "absurd and immature" decision not to take part in Manuel Valls' government

All right, raise your hand if you understand what the French Greens are playing at.

Speculation (yes it's a cliché but what the heck) as to the composition of the government to be announced by France's brand spanking new prime minister Manuel Valls.

But one thing seems certain. It won't contain any members of the Greens - or the Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) to give the party its proper name.

When the French president, François Hollande, formally announced on Monday evening (wisely missing the April 1 dateline by a few hours) that he had asked Valls to form a new government, former Green ministers Cécile Duflot and Pascal Canfin (who?) quickly responded by saying they wouldn't accept any position offered.

Canfin even went as far as to say that Duflot had turned down the post of number two in the new government and an important portfolio for reasons of "political coherence" (never the Greens' strong point, as will soon become evident).

But there was still hope that others within the party might see sense. After all the Greens were the (very) junior party in former prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's government and could still have had their say in forming policy.

On Tuesday four of the party's big wigs, Emmanuelle Cosse, Jean-Vincent Placé, Barbara Pompili and François de Rugy toddled off to meet Valls and have a good ol' chinwag about the party's possible participation in his new government.

Or not, as it turned out, because it all came to nowt.

After a natter among themselves in the evening, the party's executive office took a vote, deciding, as they announced on the official website, that despite the propositions made by Manuel Valls, the conditions for their participation in his government hadn't been met.

A decision which was both "absurd and immature," as far as Green parliamentarian François-Michel Lambert was concerned.

While for de Rugy, one of the party's co-presidents in the national assembly, it was "incomprehensible decision and a blow for the ecologists."

Jean-Vincent Placé (screenshot BFM TV

It's easy to understand their frustration especially as on Wednesday morning Placé appeared on Jean-Jacques Bourdin's show on BFM TV to confirm that "no member of the party would be included in the new government, not even in an independent capacity" even though during Tuesday's talks Valls had offered the post of...wait for it...minister of the ecology, environment and energy.

Oh well. That makes perfect a member of the French Green party.

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