Daniel Cohn-Bendit – 75 years old, leader of the May 1968 student revolt, former deputy for Germany and France, pioneer in transnational European politics – is happy, after the victory of the ecologists in the French municipal elections on Sunday. Finally, the movement with which it has been associated for decades, with its ruptures and reconciliations, came to power – real power – in one of the main cities of France.
“It will be a clash of pragmatism. If you look at the history of the German Greens, it corresponds to the moment when they came to power first in the municipalities and then in the management of the länder [federal states],” he explained in an interview with EL PAÍS and the correspondents of the LENA European newspaper network. “Pragmatic evolution,” he added, “does not mean abandoning the ideological corpus, but managing a city, a land, perhaps a country, means managing a society full of contradictions.”
It is municipal policy that will test the ability of French environmentalists – who have had government ministers but neither prime ministers nor presidents – and will make them credible for assaulting higher goals, as happened with Die Grünen, the German ecologists, among the coming to power in cities and federal states from the eighties to the federal government in the late nineties. “If they demonstrate the capacity for ecological and pragmatic management in cities, it will be a springboard,” predicted the veteran Franco-German ecologist. And he launched a hypothesis, “a completely crazy dream”: that in the second round of the presidential elections in 2022, instead of facing centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen as it happened in 2017 and the polls venture, the opponents are Macron and an ecologist.
“It must be understood that it is not simply the fact that big cities now have green mayors, but that the socialists who have won —in Paris, Rennes, Nantes— have done so with a very environmentally friendly program. And it is no coincidence that the first secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, says that he is willing to support an ecologist in the presidential elections. The matrix today that structures the reunification of the left is political ecology”. To whom would Cohn Bendit vote in the face of such a hypothesis, if Macron or his friend Jadot, remains in the air. Because Cohn-Bendit was Dany the Red half a century ago, and later Dany the Green, but for a few years he has also been Dany the Macronist, an informal adviser to the President of the Republic, a kind of sympathetic and grumpy uncle.
“I get along great with both of them. But first, it will be necessary to see if the ecologists live up to the hopes and abandon the small internal wars to decide who is their candidate in the presidential elections, “said Cohn-Bendit, who celebrated the speech that Macron delivered on Monday to present the agenda. environmental. “It looks a lot like the environmentalists’ program.”