Macron launches fraudulent “national debate” on “yellow vest” protests
11 January 2019
The announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe of next week’s launch of a “great national debate” on the demands of “yellow vest” protesters was a debacle. Like his previous offer of temporarily increasing the minimum wage via an increase in bonuses, it is a blatant attempt to strangle mounting opposition while continuing reactionary policies of austerity and militarism under cover of a few empty phrases.
Even before Philippe spoke to summarize the conclusions of a ministerial meeting at the Elysée presidential palace, the National Commission on Public Debate (CNDP) was discredited. Its president, right-wing politician Chantal Jouanno, had announced that, outraged at the public outcry over her €176,400 yearly salary, she was refusing to organize the debate. Nonetheless, she refused to step down and is still drawing her exorbitant salary, even though she refuses to do the work that she is supposedly being paid to do.
This provoked broad anger among “yellow vests” and workers. As journalist Vincent Jauvert noted on France Info, French Senate investigations have established that “leaders of such high administrative authorities are often extremely well paid…for minimal work.”
This observation on the fictitious character of the work of Jouanno and other top state officials speaks volumes about the character of the “great national debate” Macron wants her commission to organize. He intends for this debate not to result in a realignment of his policies to reflect popular opposition to austerity, social inequality, and war, but to issue a few propaganda phrases to “sell” the diktat of the banks Macron is…