The woman of challenges, a political non-event...: the French press has mixed feelings after the nomination of Elisabeth Borne as Prime Minister

Eva Deschamps / May 17, 2022

A choice of reason, efficiency and continuity: the appointment of Elisabeth Borne, former Minister of Labour under Macron I, to the post of Prime Minister did not cause a stir on Tuesday in the press, which nevertheless welcomes the choice of a woman at Matignon.
The woman of challenges is the headline in the business daily Les Echos, with Daniel Fortin noting in his editorial the continuity shown by the president in opting for this technocrat from the left wing of the Macronie.
Her techno profile, which brings her closer to her predecessor Jean Castex, suggests that the articulation of power between the two heads of the executive will remain very similar to what has been at work for the past two years, namely a very strong concentration of real power at the Elysée, the newspaper analyzed.
This reading is shared by most newspapers the day after the appointment, which took three weeks. La Croix described it as a choice of efficiency on its front page, accompanied by a photo of the smiling minister with her files under her arm. Her appointment to Matignon seems perfectly logical, said Jérôme Chapuis in his editorial.
For the daily, this is a confirmation that Emmanuel Macron does not intend to change his way of exercising power in the coming five-year period. Le Figaro looks to the future, listing the tasks that await Ms. Borne if her appointment is made effective. She will have to carry out difficult reforms, including that of pensions, without provoking the anger of the social body, writes the newspaper.
This social body, l'Humanité, for its part, echoes it. For the communist daily, the pill of unemployment insurance and especially pension reforms has not been passed. The real head of government is at the Élysée Palace. The Prime Minister is only there to execute his will. The only surprise can now only come from the legislative, with the prospect of a victory of the Nupes, the New Popular Ecological and Social Union of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, ensures the daily.
The regional newspapers have chosen to be sober. La Dépêche headlines: Elisabeth Borne First Minister; L'Ardennais: Elisabeth Borne at Matignon and Le Télégramme: First Minister, with a simple photo of the polytechnicienne. Ouest-France remains on the same line. If reactions to her record as Minister of Labor are divided, the press agrees on one thing: the appointment of a woman is welcome.
The Midi Libre sees it as a choice of reason, and is pleased with the installation of a woman at Matignon. While regretting, above all, a 31-year wait since Edith Cresson, which says a lot about political practices in this country. In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche on May 15, the first woman to hold this position had blasted a macho political class in France.
The concern can also be read in the pages of Libération: Unfortunately, the question is (...) not to know if Elisabeth Borne will one day suffer a sexist slip, but when.... The daily emphasizes that this appointment remains a political non-event.
L'Opinion is also severe and underlines the delay of France in the promotion of women while five countries of the European Union are led by women, Angela Merkel remained more than sixteen years at the head of Germany, Margaret Thatcher led Great Britain with an iron fist more than eleven years.
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