While Bercy will present the broad outlines of the stability program in France, tension rises a notch between Bruno Le Maire and Emmanuel Macron.

This Wednesday, Bercy will present the broad outlines of the stability program in France which will be examined in a week by the Council of Ministers. INSEE recently revealed that the French public deficit was at 5.5% of GDP in 2023, well above the 4.9% hoped for by the government. And the executive should count on 5.1% in 2024… Following these difficulties, Bercy is increasing the number of announcements. And seeks to outline the new budgetary trajectory for the end of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term.

This Monday, April 8, the Minister of the Economy went to the Elysée for a tête-à-tête with the president. However, the perceptions of the two men diverge: Bruno Le Maire would like to provide for a corrective finance law, which allows the provisions of the initial finance law to be modified during the year, while Emmanuel Macron refuses, to avoid panic the French on the state of public finances.

This disagreement and this crisis context cause tensions between Emmanuel Macron and Bruno Le Maire. The method of the Minister of the Economy is considered “individualist and clumsy” and the adjustments follow one another. “Bruno, you’ve been here for seven years!”, the president said in the middle of a working meeting, to highlight the minister’s responsibility for the current state of public accounts, according to Le Figaro.

According to Europe 1, a close friend of the head of state even questioned the real intentions of Bruno Le Maire: “Under the guise of wanting to avoid him, he is in reality seeking the motion of censure so that the government is overthrown”, indicates this advisor. The budgetary text for a amending finance bill desired by the minister would probably lead to a new recourse to 49.3 to be adopted, exposing the risk of a motion of censure, which LR deputies are ready to vote on. According to this source again, two hypotheses emerge on the behavior of Bruno Le Maire: “Either he wants to leave the government for political reasons without being attributed to the failure of the management of public finances, or he wants to position himself to take over place of Gabriel Attal”. The minister could thus seek to anticipate his departure with a view to preparing a potential presidential candidacy.

Same story at Matignon. According to Le Point, an executive advisor was exasperated by the minister’s actions: “We are not Greece, let’s stop self-flagellation. Because of him, we only talk about the subject of public finances, which monopolizes the debate! And it hysterizes Parliament.” If the differences are not denied at Bercy, it is recalled that Bruno Le Maire “is a statesman who is not going to leave the government two months before the European elections”.