Hollande in Lobbies’ Grip Has Abandoned Socialism, Batho SaysTara Patel
President Francois Hollande has abandoned all Socialist ideals and knows he can’t win a second term in office, according to the latest tell-all book about the French leader.
In the 272-page book entitled “Insoumise” or “The Intractable” to go on sale Oct. 15, Delphine Batho, who was fired as environment and energy minister in July, 2013 describes her struggles with business lobbies and what she characterizes as Hollande’s incapacity to stand up to them.
“Lobbies are strong, they are powerful,” writes Batho, 41, who was one of Hollande’s spokespeople during the 2012 presidential race. The oil lobby is especially powerful because of the “weakness” of the government it deals with, she writes.
Batho lays out everything from what she says is Hollande’s wobbling over a push to overturn a 2011 ban on fracking to how she worked on a plan to re-nationalize the country’s nuclear operator Electricite de France SA and did battle with its Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio over energy policy.
Batho repeats in the book her claim that she lost her job because of her support for a ban on shale drilling and lower dependence on nuclear power. The idea of retaking control of EDF was quashed by Hollande and former Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, she writes.
The book is the latest in a series of first-person accounts by people who have fallen out with Hollande and questioned his Socialist credentials. These include Former First Lady Valerie Trierweiler who wrote about their personal life, how Hollande cheated on her and doesn’t really like the poor. Cecile Duflot, another former minister, has also written a book.
Publication of the book comes amid questions about whether EDF’s Proglio will be replaced when his term ends next month, a decision that lies with the government, which has an 84.5 percent stake.
Batho calls Proglio a “ghost minister” who went above her head to the prime minister to get his way. She says in the book that she interviewed a candidate to replace Proglio in October, 2012 who was “warmly recommended” by now Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, who was then Hollande’s chief economic adviser.
Batho’s book ends with a letter to Hollande in which she says he has “abandoned all ideals” without even trying or wanting to carry out campaign promises.
“With nothing left to lose,” she urges him to push ahead with reforms.
At the same time Batho, who calls herself a grassroots militant, heaps scorn on the number of ministers and advisers surrounding Hollande who are from his graduating class at the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration.
As for her own plans, Batho writes that as part of a younger generation she wants to create a “political social network” made up of the left and greens to replace traditional parties run by ideologically “bankrupt” older leaders.