Despite rising social anger, Macron pledges to step up austerity attacks in France


Despite rising social anger, Macron pledges to step up austerity attacks in France

Alex Lantier

16 June 2018

Despite rising social opposition after both houses of parliament voted to privatize the French National Railways (SNCF), French President Emmanuel Macron plans to intensify austerity and develop closer ties with the far right. This is what emerged from Macron’s speech to French health insurers in Montpellier on Wednesday and then during a trip to Vendée to meet far-right royalist politician Philippe de Villiers.

Tuesday night, as the National Assembly prepared to vote the SNCF pact, Macron released a video in which he contemptuously denounced social spending. The 40-year-old, transformed by the Rothschild bank into a multimillionaire after a few years of work, made clear he believes the population is lazy and reliant on state aid. “We spend too much money, we let people evade their responsibilities, we are in curing mode,” he complained about French health care, while attacking the “crazy amounts of money” France spends on social issues even though “the poor stay poor.”

At the same time, polls emerged showing a continuing erosion of Macron’s popularity. With only 40 percent approval ratings, Macron has lost the support of 19 percent of the voters who cast ballots for him on the first round of the elections, a group that counted only 16 percent of registered voters. The presidential staff at the Elysée palace commented only, “Our base isn’t abandoning us.”

In Montpellier on Wednesday, Macron endured catcalls during his speech but nonetheless insisted he would press ahead with social cuts at all costs.

He called for drastic cuts in social spending: “We should not believe that there are some who believe in social transformation and are…

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