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President Macron Readies For Governing Battles

June 6, 2017

All eyes on France and their new leader, Emmanuel Macron.  This is perfectly toned commentary.

To lift Europe he must deal with the euro’s problems, which means taking on Germany.

There is little point in pressing Berlin until after Germany’s September elections. In campaign mode, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats will proclaim their undying opposition to clever French schemes that force German taxpayers to bail out lesser economies. If Mr. Macron instead uses the summer to pass legislation reforming domestic labor markets and taxes, he can show Germany his seriousness.

The rub is that he’ll need to do it without setting off the street protests and strikes that doomed past efforts. This will be a risky operation, but assuming Mr. Macron navigates the difficulty, it will be Germany’s turn to act in the fall. With elections in the rearview mirror, the German chancellor—almost certainly Mrs. Merkel—will sit down with Mr. Macron for the most important negotiations in Europe since the end of the Cold War. They will need to simplify the ungovernable EU’s institutions and procedures and find ways to bridge internal divisions before external enemies can exploit them further.

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