Switzerland expects some continuity in the event of the markets-wanted re-election of outgoing French head of state Emmanuel Macron, while a period of uncertainty should begin if far-right candidate Marine Le Pen becomes the country’s first president on April 24.
If Emmanuel Macron, who came first in the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday, is reappointed at the Elysée Palace in the second round on April 24, “that wouldn’t be a major breakthrough,” said AWP professor Olivier Crevoisier. of Territorial Economics at the University of Neuchâtel.
“We already have experience with relations between Switzerland and Mr Macron’s France. I would be surprised if he adopts a different policy than he has had for the past five years.
There are few new things to expect
Likewise, Heiner Mikosch, who works at the Center for Economic Studies of the ETH Zurich (KOF), believes that little change is to be expected in the event of the re-election of La République en Marche’s candidate on the program considered liberal and pro-European. From a market point of view, only a time-limited positive response is expected if Mr Macron returns for a five-year term at the head of Switzerland’s fifth trading partner in 2020.
For John Plassard de Mirabaud, “to say that a victory for Marine Le Pen in two weeks is impossible is to show proof of (very short) memory”, invoking Brexit and the victory of Donald Trump which “definitely not In 2017 Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen 66.1% to 33.9% in the second round, but “this time the scores should be much tighter (whatever the winner is)”.
In the event that the National Rally candidate comes to power, “there will be some uncertainty from the point of view of the institutional framework,” said Mr. Crevoisier. “France is a country that counts in Europe and if it wants to get out of this framework, reforms will be needed,” the specialist added.
Marine Le Pen is no longer directly proposing France out of the European Union or the single currency, but part of her program would be incompatible with the framework of current European treaties.
If expectations for more democracy are running high in France, the professor warns against “splitting referendums”, such as Brexit, with “extremely strong political risk appetite, without real debate”.
On the issue of French frontier workers working in Switzerland, Marine Le Pen should “have a pragmatic attitude”.
A “shock” for the stock markets
Heiner Mikosch is counting on a “shock” to the equity markets and a negative reaction from European investors who will feel “not knowing what will come tomorrow”. This would hurt the “growth opportunities” in France. Companies that do business with the neighboring country, especially in French-speaking Switzerland, are likely to feel that even more, he says.
Whether one or the other, Jan Atteslander, responsible for external relations at Economiesuisse, sees “no concrete economic program yet that would affect relations with Switzerland”. “It’s too early to say,” he said.
According to him, it is “important to deepen the excellent relations between the two countries. Switzerland has become one of the three largest direct investors in France, with branches, factories and service companies. But it goes beyond the government, it takes place also in a relationship between the private sector on both sides of the border”.
For Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda, if Mr Macron came out on top in the first round, “the uncertainty of the French election will be another reason for the ECB (European Central Bank) not to intervene this week.” “, knowing that it is “already slowing down any progress of the euro”. According to him, a victory for Ms Le Pen would be an even bigger earthquake than Brexit.