Why are French media obsessed with Ecology Minister Hulot’s resignation?
4 September 2018
For a week, the French political establishment has been giving wall-to-wall coverage to the sudden resignation of Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot on August 28. He announced his resignation in a short statement in an interview on France Inter radio, apparently without warning either President Emmanuel Macron or Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. Just before, he had declared that the government had not reached any of its ecological objectives, because it was not interested in them. He added that his decision had “matured over many months.”
Pundits and politicians turned Hulot, the former presenter on the extreme sports TV show “Ushuaïa,” into a great moral conscience of France, and his resignation into a moral crisis of the government.
Le Point called it “A resignation that hurts,” while Le Monde said the autumn would be “struck by the Hulot storm.” Unsubmissive France (LFI) leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon hailed Hulot’s gesture as “a vote to censure Macron.” Olivier Besancenot, of the Pabloite New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), applauded Hulot’s resignation on Twitter, writing: “For Macron it’s not just the political back-to-school period, it’s a car crash!”
One-term ex-president François Hollande saluted Hulot, intoning, “He was right!” Hollande added, “I know what he brings, he is both a conscience and an expert of planetary issues.”
Macron’s party, The Republic on the March (LRM), did not admit to being moved, but was at least “bothered” by Hulot’s resignation. Le Monde wrote, “This departure upsets the vast majority of the members of the president’s party, who were deeply attached to the person of this ecologist and…