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Macron Plans Changes to Allow Immigration Referendum in France

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he would offer proposals to widen referendums in France to allow a possible ballot on immigration demanded by conservatives and the far right.

His promise in a letter to party leaders comes after a 12-hour meeting last week designed to break deadlock in the National Assembly, or lower house, where Macron’s supporters have no majority but no alternative bloc exists.

The president promised a detailed proposal — which would mean changing referendum rules laid out in France’s constitution — “in the coming weeks.”

That would “allow us to continue our talks, which I hope will reach conclusion when we next meet” in the autumn, he added.

Immigration has been top of the political agenda over the summer as Macron’s camp have failed to bring aboard conservatives for a proposed reform that would toughen conditions for irregular arrivals but allow some undocumented people working in critical industries to remain in France.

Macron wrote that the law would be debated in parliament “from this autumn” ahead of any possible public vote.

There are “known disagreements” on the subject but “it cannot be avoided,” he added.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will be charged with coming up for further proposals on institutional reform, including decentralising France’s notoriously Paris-centric administration and some form of proportional representation in parliament.

In a bone thrown to the left, Macron added that he would hold a “social conference” in October to discuss improving the lot of people on low incomes.

And he promised a roadmap on planning for climate protection measures in the week of September 18.

Reactions were slow to arrive from a political class still seemingly weighing up the possible benefits and risks of cooperating with the president.

Greens chief Marine Tondelier charged on X — formerly Twitter — that environmental policy had “a minuscule place in this letter” but promised more detailed responses in the coming days.

Source: Arab News



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