She is currently the only woman to have been at the head of Matignon. If the more than persistent rumors are confirmed on Emmanuel Macron’s choice to appoint a woman to lead the future government, then Edith Cresson wishes him “a lot of courage”.
Because, in an interview with JDD, the former Prime Minister takes the opportunity above all to castigate the “machismo of the French political class”. “The fact that it is only in France that the question” arises of appointing a woman to Matignon is “in my eyes scandalous”, thus denounces the one who remained less than 11 months in this position, from May 1991 to April 1992, during François Mitterrand’s second term.
The United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal are ahead of France
“Has it been asked in the United Kingdom, where Margaret Thatcher exercised 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 Prime Minister long before me…”, she underlines. According to the former Matignon tenant, “it is not the country that is macho: it is its political class. These are the same attacks as today. They lent me comments that I had never made, they threw constant criticism at me, they made comments about my dress, ”says the former socialist leader.
“We even wrote one day that my stockings were spun even though I have a scar on my leg from an accident! We would never allow ourselves the same thing, the same comments, on the dress 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 previously.
“The position of Prime Minister is a very difficult position, 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 just tell him that he will need a lot of courage,” she concludes.