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France: Regional elections in a centralized country - BNPP

FXStreet (Delhi) – Thibault Mercier, Research Analyst at BNP Paribas, notes that the French regional elections, to be held on 6 and 13 December, take place in the midst of the so-called “Act III of decentralization”.

Key Quotes

• “As from 1 January 2016, the number of regions will pass from 22 to 13. Regions will be reinforced in their current prerogatives and inherit new powers from departments. Still, French regions will remain light years far from their German or Spanish counterparts.

• Regarding the forthcoming elections, opinion polls for the 1st round predict a large victory for the right wing and potentially 2 regions won by the far-right Front National (FN).

• Nevertheless, final results of regional elections, to be known on December 13, are much less clear-cut. Strategies adopted by qualified lists between the two rounds will be crucial.

• In case of a FN victory in one or two regions, the concrete consequences of such an outcome would be very limited.

• As to whether FN increasing strength will have implications on the government political orientation in the run-up to Presidential elections in spring 2017 one could say that recent events had already shifted the government’s policy towards heightened security measures. On the economic front, the government is unlikely to deviate from its social liberal orientation one year and a half away from next election, especially as reforms begin to bear fruits.”

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