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Forecast: France’s Macron faces no-confidence vote, UK hobbled by rail strike, and Pride March returns to NYC

Dozens march in New York City's last in-person Pride March. Almost all are waving rainbow flags, banners and other symbols.

Welcome to Factal Forecast, a look at the week’s biggest stories from the editors at Factal.

We publish our forward-looking note each Thursday to help you get a jump-start on the week ahead.

Just two months after winning re-election, French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc has lost its absolute majority in parliament. In this week’s Factal Forecast podcast, Senior Editor Jimmy Lovaas and Senior Editor Sophie Perryer discuss Macron’s impending no confidence vote and his options for keeping his legislative agenda alive. 

Listen now or download on your favorite platform.

Week of June 24-July 1
A Look Ahead

June 24

Ryanair strikes begin

Cabin crew working for the budget airline Ryanair in several European countries are planning to go on strike for several days starting Friday over pay and working conditions.

What’s happened so far 
Trade unions have called for walkouts in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, all popular summer destinations in Europe. Most strikes are expected to last two days. Trade unions in Belgium claim Ryanair is not respecting the country’s labor laws, while Portugual-based crew demand compliance with the country’s laws and better working conditions.

The impact 
In the summer that air travel, one of the industries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, was supposed to return to normal, airlines are now being forced to cancel thousands of flights. If the strikes go ahead as planned, it is likely many travelers hoping to enjoy the first summer of relative normalcy in two years will be affected all over Europe. This comes as airports face staff shortages with long lines reported in several major cities.

June 26

G7 summit begins

The 48th G7 summit will begin Sunday and run for three days in the German Bavarian Alps. 

What’s happened so far 
Reuters reports that the G7 talks will focus heavily on the war in Ukraine and, specifically, reconstruction efforts. The G7 economies have imposed harsh sanctions on Moscow over the full invasion in late-February.

The impact 
This summit will mark the first in over a decade and a half in which Germany is represented by someone other than Angela Merkel. As the host country, Berlin has introduced some temporary border screening measures to increase security. While much of the focus will be on Europe, President Joe Biden will still emphasize China, with reported plans to announce a global infrastructure development plan

June 26

Pride March in New York City

In a first since 2019, the annual Pride March in New York City will return Sunday to a fully in-person event following several years of coronavirus disruptions. The annual march commemorates the anniversary of the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

What’s happened so far 
The march will make its way through Lower Manhattan past the Stonewall National Monument before finishing in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood. Now in its 53rd year, the Pride March will be led by several grand marshals, including television personality Ts Madison and American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio. Angelica Ross, actress and transgender activist best known for her roles in the shows “Pose” and “American Horror Story,” is slated to return as co-host for a second year.

The impact 
New York City’s march, the largest annual Pride march in the world, follows several weeks of events honoring the history and future of LGBTQ rights and activism. Despite the celebratory nature of Pride, this year it comes amid a rise in hate crimes based on sexual orientation in New York City as well as increasing anti-gay and anti-trans legislations pushed by political leaders across the United States — which LGBTQ rights advocates say makes celebrating visibility all the more important.

June 26

Local elections in Sindh, Pakistan

The first round of Pakistan’s Sindh province local elections will be held on Sunday amid security concerns following violent incidents in Karachi and Lahore by-elections.

What’s happened so far 
Provincial officials have announced a strong police deployment across polling stations, with additional reinforcements in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed, Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions, which are considered higher-risk areas for election-related violence due to tensions between rival party voters. The provincial government has enforced a total ban on carrying guns on election day, and surveillance cameras will be installed in almost 3,000 polling stations

The impact 
Voters will elect representatives for more than 140 town committees, 14 district councils, a metropolitan corporation and 45 municipal corporations. The second phase of the local elections will take place on July 24 in another 16 districts of the province, including Karachi and Hyderabad.

June 28

NATO Summit in Madrid

On Tuesday, NATO leaders will gather in Spain’s capital Madrid for the alliance’s annual summit, with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine expected to dominate the discussion. Membership applications from Finland and Sweden, as well as the endorsement of a new strategic concept for the alliance, are also likely to be featured.

What’s happened so far 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has posed the greatest test of cohesion for the alliance since the end of the Cold War, with member nations funneling aid into Ukraine but stopping short of intervening militarily given it isn’t a member of the bloc. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address the Madrid summit via videolink on its first day, asking for more aid and Western weapons to fight off Russian advances. Defense ministers from the member nations recently met to set the groundwork for what will be discussed next week.

The impact 
The heads of government are expected to discuss the issues in detail before issuing a final statement that will likely reiterate the commitments of member nations to defend each other, as well as condemning Russia’s aggression. NATO’s leadership hopes that in-person diplomacy will advance the admission of Sweden and Finland, which Turkey has expressed concerns about. Turkey has said the Madrid summit is not a deadline, and that talks will continue.

June 30

Philippines president inauguration

On Thursday, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be inaugurated as 17th president of the Philippines with running-mate Sara Duterte. 

What’s happened so far 
The son of infamous dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos, and daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, won record landslide victories in the country’s elections in May. The inauguration will take place in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila, and security forces continue to make plans, close roads and prepare the capital for a large influx of Marcos Jr. supporters. 

The impact 
The victories of both Marcos Jr. and Duterte have been heralded by experts as not only a continuance of dynastic and strongman rule in the Philippines, but also as a democratic backslide. Marcos Jr.’s policies have been difficult to pinpoint, citing “unity” but showcasing few details and avoiding debates throughout the election. The president-elect urged people to judge him on his actions rather than his family’s past, one filled with repression, violence and embezzlement. The inauguration itself may be marred by protests from the opposition, but security forces have said they will not be allowed into the celebrations on Thursday.

June 30

Parliamentary elections in Libya

The eastern-based government in Libya, headed by UN-appointed Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, has promised to bring the country to general parliamentary elections by next Thursday.

What’s happened so far 
Parliamentary elections in Libya, originally scheduled for December 2021, never took place due to continued disagreements over the legal basis of Dbeibeh’s Government of National Unity in the east and Bashagha’s Libyan National Army in the west. The two rival governments held a third round of talks in Cairo between June 12-20, with the aim of establishing a constitutional framework for Libyan elections. Despite the UN chief to Libya, Stephanie Williams, saying that these latest talks drew to a close with “a great deal of consensus on the contentious articles” of the constitution, the two parties failed to agree on “the measures governing the transitional period” leading to the vote.

The impact 
According to Libyan media, the main contested topic was on the legalities around a presidential candidacy, with Tripoli demanding that military personnel be banned from running in the candidacy. A disagreement similar to the previous elections, this is an issue to which Tobruk is not likely to agree, with analysts believing that the possibility of elections materializing is therefore highly unlikely.

What Else Matters

A photo of the Victoria line in London, UK. There is a train moving on the left and a solitary figure walking away form the camera towards an exit.
Rail traffic across England, Scotland and Wales has ground to nearly a halt as transit workers begin the largest strike action in three decades. (Photo: generalising / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

UK rail strikes

At least 80 percent of mainline train services across England, Scotland and Wales were canceled Tuesday as rail workers began the largest strike action in three decades. Members of the RMT union launched the industrial action due to a dispute with the government over job cuts and below-inflation wage rises. London Underground services were also suspended Tuesday due to strike action by workers in a separate dispute over working conditions and pensions.

Watch for: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the strikes as “wrong and unnecessary” at a cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, while RMT union boss Mick Lynch accused the government of causing the industrial action by “hobbling the industry.” Further strike action on the rail network will take place Thursday and Saturday. The U.K.’s train drivers union Aslef also announced strike action on three networks over the next month due to a dispute over pay. 

France legislative elections

French President Emmanuel Macron is facing a difficult second term after his parliamentary bloc lost its absolute majority in Sunday’s legislative elections. Macron’s Ensemble coalition won 245 seats, making it the largest group in the National Assembly but short of the 289 required for an absolute majority. The NUPES left-wing bloc won 131 seats, making it the largest opposition force in parliament, while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally took 89 seats, 10 times more than at the previous election in 2017. 

Watch for: Macron faced challenges from far-left and far-right parties in the immediate aftermath of the vote, with an MP from the NUPES coalition threatening a vote of no confidence on July 5 and Le Pen describing him as a “minority president.” His best hope for pushing through his legislative agenda is to seek the support of the conservative Les Républicains. Another option is dissolving parliament and calling new elections, an option Macron does not appear to want to explore, as he refused the customary resignation of his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday and called on the government to remain “on task.”

Extended Outlook

What’s on our radar in the coming weeks…

June 23-June 29

June 23

  • European Council meeting
  • WHO emergency meeting on monkeypox

June 24

  • Ryanair strikes begin

June 26

  • New York City’s Pride March
  • G7 summit begins in Schloss Elmau, Germany
  • NASA to launch rockets from Australia’s north for scientific studies
  • Local elections in Sindh, Pakistan

June 28

  • Primaries in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah, and runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina

June 28

  • NATO summit in Madrid
  • Primaries in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah, and runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina

June 30-July 8

June 30

  • Parliamentary elections in Libya
  • Philippines President-elect Ferdinand Marcos takes office
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Moscow

July 1

  • Japan to ask households, companies to save energy
  • Czech Republic takes over the EU presidency
  • China’s senior leaders meet in Beidaihe

July 2

  • OSCE meeting begins in Birmingham, England
  • Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention set to end

July 4

  • U.S Independence Day
  • NASA to launch rockets from Australia’s north for scientific studies

July 7

  • G20 foreign ministers meet in Indonesia’s Bali

July 9-15

July 10

  • Japan to hold upper house election
  • Congolese National Assembly election
  • UN Security Council meeting on Syria aid route

July 12

  • EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council

July 13

  • President Biden to visit Israel, West Bank and Saudi Arabia

July 14

  • President Biden to visit Israel, West Bank and Saudi Arabia
  • Bastille Day in France
  • EU affairs ministers informal meeting in Prague

July 16-22

July 17

  • South Ossetia referendum

July 18

  • EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting

July 19

  • MLB All-Star Game

July 21

  • San Diego Comic-Con begins

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Top photo: The New York City Pride March is returning to in-person events for the first time since 2019. (Photo: John McCarten / New York City Council)

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