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Protest against President Macron and his economic policies in Paris on 5 May 2018. Wikipedia

Poll: Two-thirds of French unhappy with Macron

Two-thirds of French voters are not happy with the way President Emmanuel Macron is running the country, a poll on Sunday revealed. 

Published: August 28, 2019, 6:47 am

    Of those surveyed by pollster Ifop for the conservative weekly Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) only 34 percent said they were “satisfied” with Macron’s presidency, compared with 66 percent who said they were “dissatisfied”.

    Macron’s approval rating dropped to 23 percent in December 2018, when the Yellow Vest movement reached its peak. His rating matched that of his predecessor François Hollande’s in late 2013, then viewed as the most unpopular leader in modern French history

    The pollster interviewed 988 people between August 21 and 22, following nine months of ongoing social unrest, with weekly protests held by the Yellow Vests against the Macron administration.

    The first Yellow Vest protests were held in mid-November last year against planned fuel tax hikes but quickly transformed into a broad social movement against the Macron government. The president is perceived as too arrogant and indifferent to voters’ daily concerns.

    In June, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that Macron’s social benefit and pension reforms would be relaunched as Act II. “We will maintain the possibility to retire at 62, but we will define a pivot age and incentives to work longer,” he said.

    But the pension and unemployment benefits reforms both potentially remain controversial issues that could reboot Yellow Vest momentum.

    At the end of the G7, which was held in the French coastal city of Biarritz, Brazil rejected the $20 million emergency aid promised by the G7 to counter fires in the Amazon. The refusal came in the wake of particularly intense exchanges between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Emmanuel Macron.

    Thus Macron’s efforts to refocus media attention on Iran and Brazil and away from domestic issues, have not succeeded.

    G7 alerts are becoming less and less popular with those who pay for them. After the outbreak of a Franco-Brazilian crisis surrounding, in particular, fires in the Amazon, it was also China’s turn to put the group leaders in its place on the Hong Kong issue, reported 20 Minutes.

    The actual G7, measured by nominal GDP, are: US (1), China (2), Japan (3), Germany (4), UK (5), France (6), India (7).  But when measured by GDP in Purchase Power Parity the list is different, with China in first place, followed by the US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia and Indonesia.

    At the G7 meeting in Biarritz the USA (2nd), Japan (4th), Germany (5th), UK (9th), France (10th), Italy (12th) and Canada (17th) were however represented.

    The leaders of the participating states also reaffirmed “the existence and importance of the Sino-British Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong”, calling “to avoid violence”.

    But after the group of leaders called “to avoid violence” in the former British colony on Monday, August 26, Beijing reacted with indignation on Tuesday.

    “We express our extreme dissatisfaction and steadfast opposition to the statement made by G7 leaders about Hong Kong affairs ,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy. “No state, no organisation, no individual has the right to interfere” in the internal affairs of China, he added. Beijing also called on G7 members “to stop harboring bad intentions, to put their noses into other people’s affairs and to secretly prepare for illegal activities,” Geng Shuang said.

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