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Emmanuel Macron. Photo supplied
Paris

Macron takes another dive in the polls

All things come to an end eventually. President Emmanuel Macron is losing the support of French voters. His lowest levels were in December 2018, at the height of the Yellow Vest crisis, before the opening of the Great National Debate.

Published: September 23, 2019, 8:08 am

    Macron, who has seen his popularity steadily recovering since December, has experienced a halt, according to an Ifop poll published on Sunday, September 22 for French weekly the JDD. From 34 percent of positive opinions in August, the head of state went down to 33 percent, thus losing a percentage point.

    In addition, the total number of people dissatisfied with the President of the Republic are at 64 percent.

    At the height of the crisis of the Yellow Vests, and before his popularity recovered with the opening of the Great National Debate, the ratings of Emmanuel Macron had reached a painful 23 percent. According to the study, the percentage of the satisfied voters were especially low among workers and employees, respectively down 2 and 3 points.

    Among public officials, the popularity of the head of state is in freefall, with 6 points lost, against 2 earned among private employees. The same is true of young people (-8 points among 18-24 year-olds) and environmental sympathizers (-12 points), who criticize him for “a disconnect between speeches and deeds”.

    The rating of the Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, for its part is up two percentage points, from 36 to 38 percent.

    And as if on cue, an American magazine is singing the praises of the globalist French leader. The “Macron Moment” is the title of a long article devoted to the President by the magazine Time .

    It appeared only a few days before his arrival in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. This portrait of Macron shows that he has not given up on anything and that he is planning for the future.

    Emmanuel Macron however noted in the interview that he was now in the “valley of the death” between the implementation of his reforms and the expectation of the results.

    The president of the Île-de-France region has meanwhile denounced the Macron administration’s pretence of firmness while in reality advancing a “generous social policy”.

    In the current debate on immigration requested by Emmanuel Macron, Valérie Pécresse, the president of Libres!, attacked the president in the pages of the JDD on September 22. She criticized the government, whose “disconnect between [their] discourse and [acts] drives up populism”.

    The former Republicans member said she saw “no break” between the policy of the head of state and that of his socialist predecessor, Francois Hollande. “He is constantly using double language, even playing a double game: he tells the French what they want to hear,” she said.

    She said that obtaining French nationality “should no longer be automatic”. According to her, illegal immigrants are attracted to France not because of full employment, but the generosity of this social policy”.

    Pécresse sees for example, in “the discount-fare in transport granted to illegal immigrants by law”, a “bonus to illegality”. She said she was also in favor of “restricting State medical aid (MEA) to the category of necessary care” and advocated not granting a residence permit to people “who come to France to seek treatment”.

    Finally, according to her, it is necessary to “negotiate [the] return to their countries of origin” for the unaccompanied minors living in France as well as for foreign prisoners.

    But more than legislative adjustments, it is the birth of a new model of integration that Valérie Pécresse wants to see. “The acquisition of French nationality must no longer be automatic. You have to ask for it, want it, not get it at 18 in a surprise lucky packet,” she said.

    “France must be a choice”. Also, she recommended that those who do not respect “the law of the Republic” be deported. “Immigration must not be against national identity. The law of the Republic is necessary, not that of the country of origin or religion. And when you break it, you go back to your country,” she added.

    Pécresse said there should be “quotas” of immigration by professions,. The president of Libres! called for asylum applications from countries considered safe to be made in the French embassies of these countries.

    Lastly, she suggested that “only those states that manage to enforce their borders” remain in the Schengen area and added that a “European visa tax for non-EU nationals” should finance the Frontex border agency. Limitations to family reunification was also one of her recommendations.

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