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Macron pitches for broad centrist alliance after EU elections
TIWN
Macron pitches for broad centrist alliance after EU elections
PHOTO : TIWN

PARIS (Reuters), May 22 (TIWN) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday laid out his clearest plans yet for alliance-building after the European Parliament elections, favouring a centrist coalition broad enough to work with the Greens and attract some conservative parties.

Speaking to Belgium's Le Soir newspaper, Macron described the elections, taking place in all 28 European Union states from May 23-26, as the most important since the bloc's first parliamentary ballot in 1979.

With Washington and Beijing locked in a trade war, Britain mired in Brexit, multilateralism under threat globally and the EU still emerging from 10 years of financial crisis and split by a debate over migration, he said it was essential that those who were committed to Europe worked together.

"On the basis of the election results, we have to build a coalition that delivers on policies," said Macron. "We don't want to end up with bad backroom compromises."

His Republique En Marche party, competing on the EU stage for the first time and running neck-and-neck with Marine Le Pen's far-right Rassemblement National, is expected to be the core of the centrist, liberal alliance, currently known as ALDE but which could change its name.

Le Pen came first in France in the last EU vote in 2014, partly as a result of low turnout. The ballot is also often a protest vote, and nationalist parties have since seen a rise in support across Europe.

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