Category Archives: Emmanuel Macron

Don’t be fooled by Emmanuel Macron the ‘moderate’ | Owen Jones

The French president is hailed as a centrist saviour, a bulwark against extremes – even as he cuts taxes for the wealthy, attacks workers’ rights and demonises refugees

The world has gone mad, the fanatics of left and right are on the march, the voices of reason have been sidelined. This is the view of the self-styled “moderates” or “centrists” of the political world and the commentariat. There has been little reflection about how the broken economic model they defended unleashed so much anger and disillusionment.

Rather than debating ideas and policies, they longingly gaze after allegedly charismatic men who might act as saviours. David Miliband is the eternal prince over the water. But their international icon, France’s Emmanuel Macron, provides an instructive lesson in what “centrist” politics means in practice.

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Source: gad

French university protests threaten to spread after violence

Investigators trying to discover identities of men who violently broke up a Montpellier sit-in

Protests over Emmanuel Macron’s university reforms threaten to spread to faculties across France after outrage following the violent breakup of a student sit-in in Montpellier by masked men with bats and sticks.

Around 50 students had been staging a lecture hall sit-in at the southern French university on Thursday to protest against the French president’s tightening of university entrance requirements when a group of men in black, many of them wearing balaclavas and masks, began beating the protesters and forcing them out.

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Source: gad

Allies back UK to condemn Russia over Salisbury nerve agent attack

Statement by UK, US, Germany and France ramps up rhetoric against Moscow, with Russia expected to retaliate over expulsion of diplomats

International pressure on Russia following the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been strongly ratcheted up, with Britain, the US, France and Germany jointly condemning an “assault on UK sovereignty”, as Washington boosted its own sanctions on Moscow.

With Russia still promising retaliation to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats from the UK, Theresa May’s frantic telephone diplomacy in the wake of the attack seemed to have coalesced the UK’s allies into a united response.

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Source: gad

The British have Brexit. We French have our wine delusion | Marie Le Conte

Sure, it occasionally leaves us horizontal, but it’s a proud part of our identity. And anyway, we don’t drink as much as you. Right…?

If you want to become – or remain – the president of France, you have to touch a cow.

François Hollande touched a cow; Nicolas Sarkozy touched a cow; Jacques Chirac touched more cows than anyone can remember; and every party leader or Elysée hopeful has had to touch a cow at one point or other. It cannot be any cow: the ceremonial patting must occur at the Paris International Agricultural Show, an annual event that does exactly what it says on the tin, and is attended by every French politician worth their salt.

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Source: gad

Germany’s coalition deal safeguards the Merkel/Macron vision of Europe | Anne McElvoy

Back for a fourth term, the German chancellor faces tensions at home – but her role as head of the EU’s most successful economy is unchallenged

Angela Merkel’s new coalition government is testament to her skill as the great survivor, and to the unwisdom of underestimating her ability to outmanoeuvre opponents. Alliances of Germany’s two main parties are dubbed “elephant coalitions”. The one agreed this morning lumbers into life on very different terms from the last GroKo (grand coalition). “Two tired elephants, dancing for the last time,” was the verdict of one speaker at the recent special conference of the Social Democratic party (SPD), calling for an end to deals with “the Merkelator” and her Christian Democrats.

In the end, she prevailed by a decent margin. There was a two-thirds majority among SPD members for remaining in the coalition, while a third backed a youth-led campaign to shake up left-of-centre politics.

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Source: gad

Emmanuel Macron takes on French unions to cut rail workers’ rights

Strike action being discussed after reforms unveiled by French prime minister Édouard Philippe

Emmanuel Macron is to push through sweeping reforms to France’s vast state rail system and cut rail workers’ special employment rights – tackling one of France’s riskiest political issues.

Any question of overhauling the SNCF state railway company has always proved controversial, with the train network grinding to a virtual halt for weeks when trade unions opposed changes to rail staff’s benefits in 1995.

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Source: gad

Emmanuel Macron unveils plans to crack down on immigration

Activists say proposals to speed up requests threaten rights of asylum seekers in France

Tough proposals to crack down on immigration and asylum in France have been unveiled by Emmanuel Macron’s government amid complaints from human rights groups and street protests by some public agents in charge of asylum procedures.

The legislation is aimed at speeding up the process for asylum requests and for expelling migrants who aren unable to claim asylum. It would also double to 90 days the time a person without papers can be kept in a holding centre.

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Source: gad

Confusion surrounds Macron’s compulsory military service

French president insists all young people will serve after minister suggested scheme might be voluntary

The French government is grappling with how to honour Emmanuel Macron’s controversial election promise to reintroduce compulsory military service for young people.

France’s president said this week that his new “universal national service” would include an obligatory period of between three and six months for all young people, who would take part either in the military or in a form of civic service.

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Source: gad

May squandered the first year of Trump – and Macron’s played a blinder | Mary Dejevsky

The snatched Davos assignation is the latest in a series of missteps that have made the relationship special in all the wrong ways

Theresa May’s assignation with Donald Trump – in which he declared the countries were “joined at the hip” – looks at best like a snatched opportunity, at worst like an afterthought. But it is just the latest in a series of diplomatic missteps made by the UK in its dealings with the present US administration that have left the relationship looking special in all the wrong ways.

One can only imagine the response in the Foreign Office and No 10 after the announcement this week that the first foreign leader to be honoured by a state visit to the Trump White House would be Emmanuel Macron. So near, yet so very far.

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Source: gad

Google CEO: we're happy to pay more tax

Sundar Pichai tells Davos flawed tax system is to blame for EU countries missing out on revenue

The chief executive of Google has declared he is happy for his company to pay more tax, and called for the existing system to be reformed.

Sundar Pichai told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the tax system needed to be reformed to address concerns that some companies were not paying their fair share.

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Source: gadt