Emmanuel Macron’s unexpected victory in the 2017 French presidential election, with 66% of the vote, meant for some at least that his triumph would make France a country that could stay out of populist European politics compared to other European countries. But the truth was quite different: a large majority of French people today suffer from the immature policies of an inexperienced and ambitious president who persists in pursuing his unwelcome reforms, despite protests from the Yellow Vests.
Two years after his victory in the presidential election in 2017, the French see Macron as an immature young politician in the political arena who is not capable of meeting the demands of all social strata. For the former French Minister for European Affairs, Noëlle Lenoir, “as long as the President of the Republic does not decide to radically change his policies, this will only exacerbate the tension in France.
Macron supporters and some impartial observers believe that the French president’s opponents are playing an undeniable role in the escalation of unrest in recent months.
The sharp increase in fuel taxes announced in November 2018 – designed to advance the president’s climate agenda while helping to balance the budget marginally – disproportionately affected rural and suburban voters, who already felt rushed. This provoked protests from rival parties, giving momentum to the yellow vest movement.
Today, Macron’s opponents, from all political backgrounds, describe themselves as part of a spontaneous popular movement. Many of the politicians Macron defeated in his successful campaign are now ready to undermine it.
The Elysée attempts to introduce the “bankrupt leftists” – who are trying to affect the process of the vast economy and free trade in France – were the real scriptwriters of the anti-Macron movement, while most of the demonstrators are apolitical citizens who suffer from the poverty resulting from the reforms of capitalism in power.
During recent demonstrations, opponents of the government pointed out that Macronian capitalism had prevented the middle classes of society from entering the trade circle even at a low level. This calls into question the policies of Macron’s government and its particular cooperation with multinational companies, which perceive France as a partner that allows them to increase their fortunes tenfold.
The events of recent months have given a new lease of life to his rivals, so that they are once again taking centre stage to challenge the President’s programmes.
His former supporters, including former President François Hollande, to whom Macron had already served, are now openly encouraging the Yellow Vests to toughen their protests.
Now, the French president is entangled in a dangerous political game, which risks leading to the overthrow of his government.