Emmanuel Macron and Elisabeth Borne, executive couple despite everything

If frictions have manifested themselves on several files, notably that of pensions, the Head of State and the Prime Minister have, in six months, woven an effective relationship but without affect.

by Claire Gatinois and Ivanne Trippenbach

It is a little more than 1 p.m. on November 21. Like every Monday for six months, Emmanuel Macron and Elisabeth Borne find themselves in the Portraits lounge, at the Elysée, for their weekly lunch. This tête-à-tête, symbol of the dyarchy of the executive, is a confidential ritual whose content almost never filters.

“Everything that is said to be there remains in Vegas”, is customary to illustrate Aurélien Rousseau, director of the Matignon cabinet, in reference to the memory of the protagonists of the American comedy Very Bad Trip. The senior civil servant, with a singing accent and a good fork, joined, after his meal with the secretary general of the Elysée, Alexis Kohler, the “PR” and the “PM” at the time of dessert. The two musketeers ensure that the necessary arbitrations are returned to coffee.

This Monday, it was a question of pensions. Weighing subject, like this beginning of a second five -year period. But is it enough to explain that the atmosphere is not as light as in the time of the predecessor, Jean Castex? From his feasts with the elected official of Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales), Emmanuel Macron came out playful, the taste buds still sparkling after a game of game. With Elisabeth Borne, renowned for her asceticism worthy of a high -level sportswoman, bleeding meat is rarely on the menu and flat water, preferred to red wine. The old prefect, vegetarian, is not the caricature of a “seed eaters” that a few bad souls wanted to draw a touch of macho. But the Prime Minister breaks the codes of conviviality, as one of his relatives says. With it, lunches are “professional” and “without artifice”, sums up an adviser from the palace.

At the Elysée, some officers decade with a more biting nickname: the lady-who-in-past-good day. A mania noted more than once in the felted corridors where Elisabeth Borne, all to her files, forgets to answer those who greet her. “Did she have it after me?” Even widen General Jean-Louis Georgelin, a former Chief of the Child Staff in charge of the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris. “Her emotions are internalized. It is her smile that says what she feels,” thinks Olivia Grégoire, minister of small and medium -sized enterprises. This smile, the head of state tries to tear it away during their meetings.

reciprocal respect, but little affect

The “PR-PM” relationship has always attracted the attentive eye of observers, aroused all comments. From the “socialist cohabitation” formed by François Mitterrand and Michel Rocard to the assumed rivalry of a Nicolas Sarkozy-François Fillon, the executive couple sets the tone of power. During the first five -year term, under Edouard Philippe, the formula used by the mayor of Le Havre (Seine -Maritime) – “the shadow of a sheet of cigarette paper” – had masked, under the guise of euphemism, the growing tensions between The two politicians. With Jean Castex, Emmanuel Macron had found his complement, a state servant blooming good the terroir.

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/Media reports cited above.