Views:17416|Rating:4.70|View Time:3:51Minutes|Likes:585|Dislikes:37 What began as a protest against higher taxes on diesel has turned into a revolt against France’s president, Emmanuel Macron. How he handles it will decide the rest of his presidency.
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our cover this week looks at the crisis engulfing the presidency of Frances Emmanuel macron France has a history of protest it's part of the theater of political life but there's something special about the the protests and riots over the past three weeks for one thing is their scale shops windows broken cars burnt fuel blockades roads obstructed all across France but especially in the capital Paris and then there's also the way they're organized unlike most protests which have come through unions or political parties these are spontaneous they're bubbling up that makes them unpredictable hard to manage and very threatening on the face of it these protests began as a rejection of a green fuel tax that the macron government planned to introduce but really they've developed into something far bigger than that a protest about the whole style of government of mr. macron his Jupiter Ian booter the way he looks down on the common people and the way the common people feel as if his policies are not working for them they're struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month they have no money left and they feel the government is doing nothing about it because these protests are so hard to manage and they're directed at the heart of mr. macarons style of government they really pose for him the biggest test of his presidency and that matters not just for France but for Europe and all democracies that's because mr. macro stands for something he is the best exponent of a liberal centrist response to the kinds of pressures that in other countries have led to populism on both right and left President macrons brand is of being resolute he doesn't like to back down and in all the protests he's had throughout his presidency and there have been plenty he has stood his ground but this time he has backed down he's been beaten by the street he first of all said he'd postponed the green fuel tax and it just a day later said he would stop it Matt crow came to power as a reforming president and he has indeed undertaken a number of reforms valuable ones in education in labor markets he's trying to revive the French economy after years of stagnation but as part of those reforms he undertook tax reform particularly slashing the wealth tax and that label president of the rich has stuck with him his presidency now is balanced on a fine edge if he's perceived to be weak he was struggled to get further reforms through if he overplayed his hand he could just inspire further protests and further riots but not all is lost there are a number of things mr. macron could yet do to save his presidency for instance how about tax credit for low wage earners to help them make ends meet he could sell the policies that he's already introduced to help people who are hard up and who find it hard to move up society he could sell those policies better but most of all he needs to discover the common touch his Jupiter e'en style of government creates a distance between him and the people he doesn't need godlike powers succeed he needs the very human powers of humility and patience if he fails the field would be open to the far right and the far left a lot is riding on his success