French President Macron lays out road map for military escalation
13 July 2018
On July 10, before the two houses of parliament assembled at Versailles, Emmanuel Macron announced a major hike in military spending financed by social attacks on the working class. A year after his election, when he was hailed as a defender of democracy against neo-fascist candidate Marine Le Pen, Macron is advancing a far-right policy of militarism, attacks on democratic rights and scrapping basic social gains of the working class.
In the days before his address, the media worried over rising social opposition in the working class. “The patience of the French people has reached its limit,” declared RTL, pointing to an Elabe poll in which 75 percent found Macron’s policy “unjust” and 65 percent found it “ineffective.” On Monday morning, Europe1 bluntly predicted that Macron’s speech would do “little to satisfy public opinion” and pointed to Macron’s “collapse” in the polls. After losing 14 percent support among retirees in another poll, his popularity rating stands at 34 percent.
After another poll found that 55 percent of French people fear falling into poverty, including over 60 percent of working-age people, many parliamentarians did not dare go to Versailles for a speech that cost taxpayers €500,000. A right-wing deputy, Fabien di Filippo, explained his decision to boycott the speech by saying, “It’s just 500,000-euro PR. Out of respect, I am not going.”
Faced with these concerns in ruling circles, Macron made a perfunctory statement of concern, saying, “I know I cannot do everything, I know I do not succeed everywhere,” and then proceeded to stay the course on his vastly unpopular policies.
He briefly pointed to the explosive…