Headline:Emmanuel Macron vows to press ahead with France economic reforms
Sub-headline: President acknowledges ‘rising anger’ but calls for patience in his new year’s address
Macron in quotes:
“The results [of economic reforms] cannot be immediate and the impatience, that I share, cannot allow for any renunciation.”
Mr Macron also called out those who “take the pretext of speaking in the name of the people . . . [but] are only the mouthpieces of a hateful crowd”.
Mr. Keohane’s comments:
The president is battling to draw a line under a year of often violent protests in order to press on with economic reforms aimed at lifting growth and bringing down France’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.
Mr. Keohane as political fabulist:
Elected in May 2017, Mr Macron initially rode a wave of popularity but as 2018 ends his approval rating hovers close to 20 per cent, having halved this year.
Mr. Keohane recalls a ‘wave of popularity’ for Macron. This writer recalls vividly that in the final round of voting in the French elections 36.5% of voters rendered their ballots spoiled and or uncountable. It appears that both the editors of this newspaper, and Mr. Keohane fail to make what might well be the very inconvenient connection, between a high percentage of spoiled ballots, and the rise of the gilets jaunes, and even considering the possibly tangential, yet possibly very real connection. Macron refers to the gilets jaunes as ‘hateful crowd’ ( A riff on Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’?)
A collection of photographs of demonstrations from last weekend , December 29 & 30 2018, is clear empirical evidence that the ‘hateful crowd’ is still a vital part of the the continuing Macron Melodrama:
Consider this report from France 24:
Headline: Security tight on Champs-Élysées as Yellow Vests call New Year protest
The above links consigns Mr. Keohane’s paragraph below in the category of the wishful thinking of a fellow traveler:
Mr Macron will hope those gestures, and the falling numbers of protesters on the streets on recent weekends, will allow him to continue with his economic reforms.
Both Macron’s unslakable ambition to be the Leader of the E.U. , even in its state of continuing crisis, first the Greeks and then the Italians! and even France’s inability to meet the EU budget rules, from The Financial Times of February 13, 2017
Headline: France on course to break EU budget rules
Sub-headline:Deficit at risk of breaching eurozone’s limit, says European Commission
The above supplies the reason for Macron’s Austerity, in that its possible failure, or even a strategic backtracking, threatens his Imperial Ambitions. As replacement for the axis of Merkel/Schnabel/ECB, at the apex of their collective power, that crushed the Greeks.
The speculations of ‘Citi’s economics team’ has a special resonance for Macron, as a former ‘Banker’ and full time Neo-Liberal Reformer.
In a recent note to clients, Citi’s economics team said the gilets jaunes protests “raise the risk of more lasting damage, if they undermine confidence in either the perpetuation of the structural reforms undertaken by Emmanuel Macron or — and more importantly in our view — if they result indirectly in further reducing the likelihood of euro area institutional reform”.
Unless “his popularity picks up again, it is not obvious why other leaders will want to emulate his unapologetically centrist, liberal, pro-European positioning,” the Citi analysts added. “Incentives to do so are inevitably influenced by the perceived political gains this positioning generates.”
Is that ‘Citi’s economics team’ ready to consign Macron to the scrapheap, as another failed Neo-Liberal Reformer? That ‘team’ would have preferred the Thatcherite radical Fillon, anyway. From the January 27 , 2018 edition of the Telegraph:
Headline: Francois Fillon – A year on, the extraordinary fall of the would-be French president is back under the microscope
A year after his likely victory over the political upstart Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential elections was scuppered by a scandal over his British wife, François Fillon is back in the news.
Who killed François Fillon?, to be broadcast on BFMTV, is one of a pair of documentaries due to air next week to mark the moment the conservative candidate’s bid for the Elysée was fatally damaged by a report in a weekly investigative magazine.
His name is also splattered over a slew of newspaper and magazine reports that pore over the weeks after it was revealed by the Canard Enchainé that he paid his wife Penelope hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ euros for an allegedly fake job as his parliamentary assistant.
The devastating report came as Mr Fillon, a former prime minister under president Nicolas Sarkozy, was riding high in the opinion polls, tipped to easily beat both the far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen and the newcomer Mr Macron in the presidential race.
But his past suddenly caught up with him and he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Now the disgraced Mr Fillon has abandoned politics, and his Republicans party, which in its former guise had ruled the country for decades, is reduced to a rump in parliament and is bitterly divided over its divisive new leader’s plans to move it to further to the right.