French green leader starts new revolution
Sunday 07 March 1993
As the head of Generation Ecologie, a party founded only a year ago, he has become a pivotal figure in French politics, where the fault-lines between left and right have become blurred after 12 almost continuous years of Socialist government.
Passionately pro-European and pragmatic when it comes to pushing the green agenda, Generation Ecologie is tapping a wellspring of support.
Under France's first past the post electoral system, even though the ecologists are rivalling the Socialists for second place in the polls, with 15-19 per cent, they can count on only a handful of seats in the National Assembly. Their supporters are thus being vigorously wooed by Michel Rocard, the former Socialist prime minister, who has urged the ecologists to join a centre-left coalition. Mr Lalonde is not keen.
He was co-opted by the Socialists as environment minister until he resigned last year, and has since forged a strategic alliance between Generation Ecologie and the more fundamentalist green party, Les Verts, sometimes known as the Khmer Verts because of their uncompromising stance and preference for protest over politics. Generation Ecologie has mitigated their worst excesses to offer a united ecological front.
Mr Lalonde's vision is one of sustainable development through the market economy. As he told a meeting of candidates and supporters in the Parisian suburb of Massy on Friday night: 'Without a coherent ecological approach to problems, we will all suffocate.'
He called for a war on unemployment, but believes that conventional solutions of straight- forward economic growth, in which 'capital is invested in machines that put people out of work, so there are fewer and fewer consumers to buy goods', cannot be sustained.
He sees reduced working hours and job-sharing as one solution, and calls for a more sensitive approach to industrial and urban development that recognises quality of life as a key ingredient in the country's well-being.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland decides Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...