06 Oct 2017

Macron the Magnificent v. Everyday Emmanuel

France has awoken besides everyday Emmanuel: a headstrong investment banker with a vision of his own for the country, and little interest in catering to the desires of the populace.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Source: Le Monde
Macron the Magnificent v. Everyday Emmanuel - NewsMavens
Emmanuel Macron in July 2017. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

There are two versions of Emmanuel Macron. The first one was chosen by France on May 14 2017. The first one is a being of pure light and rightfulness, who rescued France against the forces of evil. It is inseparable from its arch-nemesis and negative, the repugnant Marine Le Pen -- hellish bigotry made flesh.

This first version of Macron was mostly propagated by foreign newspapers, although some French voters may have briefly believed in his mythical powers during the euphoric aftermath of the May 14 election.

But that was then, and this is now. France has awoken besides everyday Emmanuel: a headstrong investment banker with a vision of his own for the country, and little interest in catering to the desires of the populace. A man who once told a protester to find work so he could afford to buy a suit -- a harsh, ambitious man who lost 10% of his approval rate during his first two months in office.

Macron had a difficult week. He is halfway through implementing a far-reaching series of reforms aimed at revamping work-related policies, like unemployment insurance and professional training. While the reforms tackle thorny issues worth addressing, these last few days he made various rapier statements that did not go down well with the French press.

One incident in particular is still making the headlines. On Wednesday Oct. 4, Macron visited a classroom of civil workers in training. Alain Rousset, president of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, commented that he was having difficulty finding workers in the area.

Macron answered: “Some people should try looking for places [to work] instead of screwing around.”

Needless to say such remarks will do little to rekindle the dying fire of his popularity. It seems that the French president is betting on economic results rather than charisma.

Details from the story:

  • French President Emmanuel Macron visited the department of Corrèze on Wednesday Oct. 2.
  • The visit preceded a series of negotiations aiming to launch a deep reform of France’s social policy.
  • During a meeting with apprentices at a technical school, Macron commented that “Some people should try looking for places [to work]  instead of screwing around.”
  • Macron was criticized earlier to fall for saying that he doesn’t want to "give in to lazy people’’.
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