Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Macron’s Political Landscape

 GS-2 Mains Exam : IR

Revision Notes


Macron’s Rise to Power

  • 2017 Election: Emmanuel Macron stormed to power by forming a new party that claimed to belong neither to the left nor the right, weakening traditional parties.

Unpopularity of Macron’s Reforms

  • Political Landscape: France’s current political environment has little space for moderation.
  • Pension Reforms: Macron’s reforms, especially on pensionable age, have been highly unpopular.
  • Yellow Vests Protests: In 2018, mass protests erupted due to Macron’s green tax on fuel.
  • Legislative Majority: Macron lost his legislative majority in June 2022, struggling since to achieve legislative success in a fractious parliament.

Challenge from Far-Right Candidate

  • Marine Le Pen:
    • De-demonisation: Le Pen is rebranding her party, National Rally, making statesmanlike comments on key issues.
    • EU Stance: No longer advocates for France to leave the EU; aims to work with leaders like Italy’s Giorgia Meloni.
    • Policy Positions: Tough on immigration, favors economic nationalism, opposes globalization and multiculturalism.

The New Left Agenda

  • New Popular Front: Left-wing parties formed a coalition with promises like:
    • Retirement Age: Proposing retirement at 60 years.
    • Minimum Wage: Increasing minimum wages.
    • Public Sector Wages: Raising public sector wages.
    • Taxation: Cutting income tax and introducing a wealth tax for the rich.
  • Economic Concerns: These promises may worsen France’s public debt, currently at 110% of GDP.

Probable Scenario After Snap Election

  • Election Dates: Elections on June 30 and July 7, a two-step process in France.
  • Macron’s Party: Unlikely to gain an absolute majority.
  • Co-habitation: Macron may have to co-habit with a prime minister from a different party:
    • Potential PM: Jordan Bardella, designated by Marine Le Pen.
    • Future Aspirations: Le Pen aims for Macron’s position in the 2027 presidential elections.
  • Hung Parliament: Possibility of a hung parliament, deepening political uncertainty.

Significance of France in Europe and the World

  • Economic Role: France is the second-largest economy in the EU.
  • Military Power: The only European country with nuclear deterrence and a permanent UN Security Council member.

Ramifications of Snap Election Results for Europe and Beyond

  • EU Foreign and Security Policy:
    • Co-habitation with far-right or far-left PM weakens France’s ability to drive EU policy.
    • EU Confrontation: Possible direct confrontation with Brussels on EU membership obligations if far-right or far-left wins.
  • Franco-German Engine:
    • Vital for EU operations; German Chancellor hopes Le Pen’s party does not win.
    • Potential sputtering or halt of the Franco-German engine.
  • Ukraine Commitment:
    • Le Pen opposes French troops in Ukraine, prioritizes domestic agenda over military aid.
  • Pro-Palestinian Stance: Far-left’s position on Gaza worries French Jews and Israel.
  • EU Stance: Anti-immigration, more protectionist, and inward-looking EU.
  • Global Implications: Weak EU and possible Trump presidency favorable to China and Russia.


  • Election Uncertainty: Macron hopes voters avoid far-left and far-right, but results are unpredictable.
  • Policy Changes: Victory by either side will drastically alter France’s policies, impacting Europe and the world.




Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : India’s 2024-25 Budget

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Why the Budget Matters in India

  • Unlike developed economies, India’s annual budget announcement holds significant weight.
  • It serves as a roadmap for the government’s economic vision, particularly at the beginning of a new term.
  • Citizens and market participants expect the budget to outline the government’s economic plan for the next five years.

Vision for the 2024-25 Budget

  • This budget is expected to present a long-term vision for India’s economic development, focusing on five key areas:
    • Growth
    • Employment
    • Manufacturing
    • Public Finance
    • Other Sector Reforms


  • Aiming to make India a developed economy by 2047 requires significant growth in per capita income.
  • The current 9.2% growth rate will only make India an upper-middle-income country by 2030.
  • To surpass developing nations like Brazil and Indonesia, India needs a higher growth rate, potentially reaching 10% real GDP growth.
  • Historically, high growth involves strong private consumption, investment, exports, and imports. The government budget can play a key role in boosting these aspects.

Employment and Manufacturing

  • India needs to create more jobs in labor-intensive manufacturing to leverage its large workforce.
  • Reforms in the factor market (wages and resource prices) are crucial for this.
  • Ongoing reforms should be further streamlined, such as digitalizing land records for smoother land acquisition.
  • By addressing these challenges, India can become a viable alternative to China for manufacturers (“China + 1”).

Public Finance

  • Uncertainty often surrounds fiscal policy decisions due to speculation and political influence.
  • India’s FRBM review aimed to make fiscal policy more data-driven by focusing on the debt-to-GDP ratio.
  • High debt servicing costs (over 40% of central government revenue) are a significant concern, exceeding the emerging market average of 10%.
  • Lowering debt is crucial for improving credit ratings.
  • Reconsidering the establishment of an independent Fiscal Council, which would provide forecasts and advise on fiscal policy, could be beneficial post-pandemic.
  • Integrating market discipline (sovereign risk) into fiscal rules is important.

Other Sector Reforms

  • This broad but crucial area includes further development of agriculture markets, renewed efforts in higher education, improved health outcomes, and meeting carbon emission limits.


  • The 2024-25 budget presents a chance to signal a major push for reforms.
  • By continuing to invest in physical and digital infrastructure while maintaining macroeconomic and political stability, achieving 10% real growth is attainable.


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