PARIS (AP) – Even in peacetime, Emmanuel Macron needed help from his allies who ruled France.
To accomplish some things, he worked with traditional rights. The center-left has helped the French president achieve others. The challenge was greater than any French leader has faced in over 20 years. He had to persuade politicians in the National Congress to support even small projects in the country.
Today, it is nearly impossible for Mr Macron to govern an already polarized country. Six days of chaos began across the country when suburban police stopped a yellow Class A Mercedes and delivered a fatal single shot to the 17-year-old driver’s chest. .
After Macron won a second five-year term last year with 58% of the vote in the run-off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, Macron’s centrist Renaissance Party and its close The alliance held only 251 seats out of 577.
Despite his narrow victory, Mr Macron dreamed big. His first big goal was to raise his retirement age from 62 to 64, which had to be pushed through parliament. Afterwards, he hoped to reindustrialize France, improve working conditions and put together a new immigration bill. Abroad, Mr Macron defended European sovereignty and independence in areas ranging from economy and energy to defense.
But it all had to fall apart along the way.
President Emmanuel Macron cut short a trip to the European summit in Brussels last week due to a crisis meeting with the government. This week, he announced at the last minute that he had postponed a trip to Germany that was meant to show the strength of bilateral friendship despite disputes over issues such as energy, defense and the economy.
Prime Minister’s agenda change reflects yet another uncomfortable situation for French leaders three months after King Charles III’s planned visit to France was postponed due to violent protests over pension reforms are doing.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was watching the situation in France with concern.
“I am very hopeful and confident that the French president will quickly find a way to remedy this situation,” he told ARD TV. “Even though the pictures are very depressing, I don’t expect France to become unstable.”
The US, UK and China urged their citizens to exercise caution when traveling to France.
After the climate change summit last month, Kenyan President William Ruto praised President Macron for his deep commitment. “You ran this like Kenyans do… like a marathon,” he told Macron.
The question for Mr. Macron now is whether he will be patient enough to face the domestic political climate.
“The problem is he has four years left,” said Luc Louvain, a senior researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
He said Mr Macron was facing a wave of protests and street riots, starting with the yellow vest movement against social injustice that broke out in 2018.
As part of a broader critique of “a social order with inequalities, which…is fundamentally so hypocritical and, in particular, does not allow schools to make people as successful as they once were,” Louvain said: A growing proportion of the population “rejects the system,” he said.
Schools, city halls, police stations and other public institutions were attacked.
Mr Louvain said Macron “doesn’t have much freedom except to distribute subsidies”, but that too would be difficult due to France’s heavy debt burden.
Last month, Mr Macron underscored his international leadership by hosting a global summit on climate and finance in the French capital that brought together more than 50 heads of state, governments and leaders of international organizations.
Then Mr Macron visited Marseille last week to pump billions of dollars into schools, housing and security in France’s second largest city, boosting the government’s efforts to improve the lives of low-income residents.
On Tuesday, Macron is scheduled to meet at the presidential palace with mayors of more than 220 towns and cities where attacks and damage have been feared in recent days.
Le Pen appears to be in a stronger position to defuse the situation, Mr Louvain said. He said he continued to position himself as Mr Macron’s main opposition party and continued a strategy to shed the image of the far-right party Rally.
“These terrible events are bringing our leaders back to reality,” Le Pen said in a video posted to her social media accounts last week. “I will adhere to our course of action to do nothing to hinder or challenge the actions of legitimate authorities in charge of public security.”
On Monday, workers prepare for Bastille Day celebrations on the Champs-Elysées in Paris during a traditional military parade that will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the guest of honor on July 14. They had set up seats and fences for the crowds who were planning to attend.
Another important deadline is approaching. Next year’s Olympics will be held in Paris, suburbs and other French cities. Organizers and authorities have promised that the Games will be safe.
Associated Press reporter Gail Mulson, who lives in Berlin, contributed to this article.
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