Re-Elected French Pres. “Macron Has to Unite the Country”

Read Transcript EXPAND

LAURENCE HAIM, JOURNALIST AND FORMER CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON FOR EMMANUEL MACRON: Macron has to unite the country. And he knows that. And we’re going to see in the following weeks how he’s going to try to go to the left side, to go to the right center, because he knows that traditional politics, it’s over.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So that’s a good thing, then. This is a really important time for that kind of unity to be forged.

HAIM: It has to be united. Otherwise, it’s going to be a disaster. And that’s the lesson of the French elections. Usually, in France, we’re always saying, oh, you know, what’s happening in America is happening four years later in France, or five years later. Now, France might give lessons to the United States. There is no classical party anymore. It’s completely dead. The Socialist Party is under 5 percent. The classical Republican Party, he’s a disaster. So you have Macron and you have the extremes. And Macron has to recompose the French political society.

AMANPOUR: OK, so you were his spokesperson during the 2017 campaign. You spent a lot of time with him. You got to know his style, his professional style, probably a bit of his personal style. What — so…

HAIM: As a journalist, I can be critical now.

AMANPOUR: Yes, of course you can. So…

HAIM: I’m going to say that…

AMANPOUR: So, what does he need to do? What is his character? And how will it help him?


HAIM: I think he’s a lonely person. And I think he trusts one person, his wife. And, sometimes, when you’re working for him, it could have been difficult, because he’s listening. But we’re saying that, when you are politicians, it’s good to have a contra- power.


HAIM: And I think, with Emmanuel Macron, you can see sometimes his loneliness. He’s absolutely convinced that he’s the right who is going to make the final decision. He is surrounded. And that’s also something which was quite interesting and the French people noticed. He is surrounded by what we call in France technocrats. So there’s a kind of contradiction in the Macron character about his ability to bring the civil society to help him. And he’s trying, but the inability for the political professional team to work with the civil society. And I think it’s going to be the challenge for him. Is he going to surround himself by technocrats, by people who went to school? Or is he to open his mandate to the civil society? And you can see again poll after polls, when you go to the streets, when you speak, as you did, to the French people, they want something else in politics. Traditional politic doesn’t work anymore. And Macron has to find something which is not the populist message, but which is a message open and listening to the civil society.

About This Episode EXPAND

Macron is the first French president in two decades to win re-election, comfortably beating his hard-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the second round this weekend. Alina Beskrovna was born and raised in Mariupol and spent a month there under siege before managing to escape. Ronan Farrow recently investigated the commercial spyware industry and its implications for democracies around the world.