A woman in Matignon? Former Prime Minister Edith Cresson wishes him "a lot of courage"

The only woman to have occupied Matignon, during the second seven-year term of François Mitterrand, Edith Cresson lists the difficulties to come for the one who could be appointed this week at the head of the government, for the second term of Emmanuel Macron.

Will a second woman be appointed to Matignon? Edith Cresson, the only one to have held the post of Prime Minister, wishes him “a lot of courage” and “castigates the “machismo of the French political class” in an interview at JDD.

“The fact that it is only in France that the question” arises of appointing a woman to Matignon is “in my eyes scandalous”, denounces Edith Cresson, who remained less than 11 months in this position, from May 1991 to April 1992, during the second seven-year term of François Mitterrand.

“Has it been asked in the United Kingdom, where Margaret Thatcher held power for eleven years? In Germany, where Angela Merkel was Chancellor for sixteen years? Never. The same for Portugal where a woman had been appointed First minister long before me…”, she underlines.

According to the former tenant of Matignon, “it is not the country that is macho: it is its political class. These are the same attacks as today. I was lent comments that I had never made , I was constantly criticized, people commented on my dress, “says the former socialist leader.

“It was even written one day that my stockings were spun while I have a scar on my leg from an accident! We would never allow ourselves the same thing, the same comments, on the behavior of politicians. Whereas when we talk about women, we talk without being embarrassed about their clothes or their physique”, denounces the former head of government, four times minister before.

“A very difficult position”

“The post of Prime Minister is a very difficult post, in any case, but the difficulties are increased by the fact that the head of government is a woman. Because the attacks complicate the political situation even more”, insists Edith Cresson.

If a woman is appointed to Matignon, “I will not give any advice. I simply tell her that she will need a lot of courage”, she concludes.

The resignation of the government of Jean Castex must take place at the beginning of next week, according to members of the majority. The future head of government would be a priori a woman, according to confidences of relatives of President Emmanuel Macron.

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