MACRON CRISIS: EU may NEVER be able to TRUST President again, experts warn

Saturday, December 8, 2018
By Paul Martin

EMMANUEL Macron’s reputation within the European Union has been seriously damaged by the violent protests engulfing France, which have triggered an “unprecedented political disaster” in the country, experts have warned.

By PAUL WITHERS
Express.co.uk
Sat, Dec 8, 2018

The President’s leadership is hanging by a thread as left-wing groups within the French Parliament discuss launching a no confidence vote against him. According to an Fop-Fiducial poll, Emmanuel Macron’s popularity rating plummeted to a new low of 23 percent in November – down by a massive six percentage points from October. Paris in particular has been under siege from so-called “yellow vest” demonstrators, named after the high-visibility jackets all French motorists have to carry.

Despite the French President performing a U-turn against raising fuel taxes, another massive wave of violence is expected throughout the country on Saturday.

Nearly 90,000 police and armoured vehicles will be deployed – 8,000 of them in Paris – in a desperate attempt to control the protests and avoid a repeat of the 400 arrests made last Saturday and damage to iconic monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe.

The French President, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are recognised as figureheads among European Union leaders, but the biggest disaster to hit his presidency thus far could call that into serious question.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Oliver Davis, a reader of French Studies from the School of Modern Languages and Culture at the University of Warwick, said: “It seriously damages his reputation for technocratic competence and calls his political judgement into question.

“The fact that his government was clearly taken by surprise and thought it could tough out unrest but has now given way to it shows that he is not a good listener.

“This is how the government is already trying to present itself, after the recent U-turn, almost as psychotherapeutic listener attentive to the nation’s sufferings – but rather that he was not only rash in his earlier pronouncements but guilty of a major error of political judgement.

“This is without doubt the toughest challenge Emmanuel Macron has faced since being elected and probably the most serious political crisis to engulf France since the near-insurrection of Mai ’68.”

Dr Kostas Maronites, lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Leeds Trinity University, warned France has failed in its ambition to be a powerful force within the EU because of Mr Macron’s policies.

He told Express.co.uk: “Macron’s election was based on the premise that France has the potential to become a leading force in the EU and forge a new productive relationship with Germany as equal partners.

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