Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

French Greens Begin to Crack.

with 4 comments

After Die Grünen, the EELV (Europe, Ecologie, Les Verts)…

Noël Mamère, former Presidential Candidate of the French Greens, les Verts (2002, 5,25% of the vote), has just resigned from the party.

I decided to leave the EELV because I do not recognize the party that I represented for the presidential elections in 2002. Our party does not create anything: it is a prisoner of its tactical calculations and its cliques. We have become a trade union for our councillors and MPs.  I feel  that we stuck in denial about the the role we can play in society. That will not stop me from leading a municipal election list at Begles, I do not need the party label. For me the page has turned.  I am quitting without regrets, without any particular emotion. This is the result of observation and analysis. Le Monde.

This follows the decision of Pascal Durand, their National Secretary, elected as part of the fusion between Europe Ecologie (led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit) and the Green Party, not to  stand again for this post.

Mamère holds a grudge against the leadership of the French Greens,

The real bosses are the so-called “firm” that is, Cécile Duflot and friends. Although Cécile Duflot is a good minister, she did not let  go of the control of the Greens. But the Greens  were not created to be dependent on the wishes of one particular party grouping.  This is the opposite of what environmentalists defend.

Cohn-Bendit says he shares Mamère’s   feelings,

I share this feeling of being utterly fed-up with the clannish, terrifying couples who rule EELV. “Christmas Mamère (…) represents all the contradictions of political ecology. he is a reformist mayor which, through small steps, is trying to change , to reform, to make avandces for his town of Begles. At the same  time, ipolitical ecology is completely commited to being a parliamentarian, and a spokesperson for  radical humanist ecology.

Cohn-Bendit referred to the case of Pascal Durand.

Others have noted that Mamère has quite a history of making similar gestures. His less than principled participation in the manoeuvres that led to the annulment of the Presidential candidature of left-wing Green, Alain Lipietz is not forgotten, here at any rate.

Underling this is are a number of problems facing the French Greens.

They have a very high ratio of elected representatives to their membership.

In 2012 EELV claimed  14 869 full members and 17 371 supporters (‘co-operants’), (the figure has gone down since, many of the latter joined only for the Presidential election campaign).

It has 18 deputies in the National Assembly alone, and hundreds and hundreds  of local councillors at all levels.

Some claim that the ratio of real members to those holding some kind of office is as high as one to four, and that most ‘activists’ hold some kind of elected position.

Critics alleges that as a result the driving force of the party has become the interests of these politicians, which is, unsurprisingly  for many, their careers (Mamère not excepted)

That is before we look at the policies of the present Socialist-led Government and President Hollande.

But it should be noted that Mamère  is not a critic of Hollande’s aggressive stance on Syria: like Cohn-Bendit he, as the New York Times states, backs a Western intervention to the hilt.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 25, 2013 at 11:18 am

4 Responses

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  1. Sorry to be always Mr Pedantic but it is Cohn-Bendit.

    R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy)

    September 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

  2. “They have a very high ratio of elected representatives to their membership.”

    As do the German Greens (well, they did until last Sunday, anyway). In Germany also the ratio of people with a party position (paid or unpaid) to their membership is extremely high.


    September 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

  3. EELV is in essence an lose electoral alliance that has been trying to hold together through its alliance with the PS, who gave, and there is no other word for it, a much large number of seats in the Assembly than the alliance would have won if standing alone. That the party is run by a handful of back room operators is an open secret. One quick look at the way the party has ditched their own presidencial candidates time and time again indicates that the ruling clique see deals with the PS and not electoral contests as the ‘road to success’ is pretty clear.
    The short term problem for the Greens can be summed up in a few words- the 2014 elections. The PS has been wiping the floor in local, regional, European and finally national elections, EELV have firmly nailed their party’s future to that of the PS- and which ever way you look at it the PS/EELV alliance are going to get absolutely hammered next year.
    Father Christmas is a machine politician who can read the writing on the wall- he is positioning himself to benefit for the fall out of the battering they will get next year, if there is to be another ‘regroupment’ of the greens post 2014 he is well placed to head it.

    To look at the high ratio of elus to members is not a disease limited to the Greens- the PCF, PS and UMP have similar ratios. Mind you it is not just a French or as dagmar says German disease- look at the UK’s Lib Dems.

    Pete Shield

    October 1, 2013 at 10:51 am

  4. One real threat is that with all that it may lead to the Front National (not mention UKIP) becoming the winners in the Euro elections.

    Andrew Coates

    October 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

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