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French government resigns after political wrangling over immigration

In Europe
January 08, 2024

The centre-right government of French prime minister Élisabeth Borne has resigned, the presidential palace in Paris said on Monday.

The move comes in connection with political wrangling over a controversial immigration law aimed at tightening state controls on immigration and improving integration.

The legislation adopted last month caused controversy in President Emmanuel Macron‘s own party, with 20 voting against it and 17 abstaining.

Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau resigned in protest and other left-wing cabinet members had reportedly also considered leaving the government.

Borne has been prime minister since mid-May 2022.

It is initially unclear when a new government will be formed and who will lead it.

The outgoing government has found itself in the difficult situation of no longer having an absolute majority in the National Assembly for the past 18 months.

It has been dependent on votes from the opposition for its projects.

As prime minister, Borne tried tirelessly to find compromises. However, the government did not find a reliable partner in parliament.

Macron’s core project of pension reform was ultimately pushed through by the government without a final vote in the National Assembly.

It is expected that Macron will try to move forward with a new prime minister and fresh cabinet and hold his camp together with a view towards elections for the European parliament coming up in the spring.

The right-wing nationalist Rassemblement National party of Marine Le Pen looks set to do better than Macron’s Renaissance party in the European polls in June.

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris this summer, France also faces an organizational challenge – at a moment in which the country wants to appear united and capable of decisive action.

Elisabeth Borne, Prime Minister of France, gives a speech during the Congress of French Regions 2023. The centre-right government of French prime minister Élisabeth Borne has resigned, the presidential palace in Paris says. Damien Meyer/AFP/dpa

Elisabeth Borne, Prime Minister of France, gives a speech during the Congress of French Regions 2023. The centre-right government of French prime minister Élisabeth Borne has resigned, the presidential palace in Paris says. Damien Meyer/AFP/dpa

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