Macron must LEARN from Trump: EU’s future hinges on ability to quash angry REVOLT

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

EMMANUEL Macron’s rise to the pinnacle of European leaders was carefully crafted but now the French President will be forced to learn from Donald Trump as he desperately clings to his status as a dominant force on the Continent.

Wed, Dec 5, 2018

The pro-EU technocrat promised to unite a divided France as he beat right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, making him the youngest French head of state since Napoleon. The 40-year former investment banker had never held office before becoming President but the European Union was hopeful he could usher in a new dawn with France at the heart of it. But his dreams of an EU army and Eurozone reform are becoming more distant as days go by, thanks to a unique and violent uprising that has recently emerged.

The so-called “yellow jackets” are frustrated with the increasing price of fuel, tax and the cost of living, and they have made their voices heard – literally leaving Paris in flames.

The movement is born out of small working class French towns, whose people are highly suspicious of Mr Macron’s bold initiatives aimed at pleasing the metropolitan elite and bankers of Paris.

But now the French leader’s attempts to win over Germany with economic and environmental reforms have been sidelined, as his approval rating finds itself in the low 20s he simply cannot ignore the domestic anger.

On Tuesday, Mr Macron shelved planned energy tax hikes, which are part of his plans to make France greener, as he showed his first sign of retreat from the “yellow jackets”.

During a dinner in Washington, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde sent a warning to politicians whose decisions could create “an age of anger”.

She said: “Imagine what the world might look like if we fail to build and adapt.

“We could live in an age of anger.”

But this lesson is best learnt from Mr Trump, the US President, who successfully harnessed the anger of America’s rustbelt communities to propel himself into the White House.

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