The year 2020 is approaching and the momentum of protest demonstrations in France is increasing as a result of the joining of new sectors to the protest squares, amid a decline in the popularity of President Emmanuel Macron, who received 38% support, 3 points less than it was last November, according to the latest measure from the Institute IFOP Opinion Polls, which was published on Sunday, December 20.
After the French had confidence in their president in the first round of the presidential elections at 69%, today more than 60% of the citizens are “dissatisfied” with Macron’s policy in France, according to opinion polls.
Since his assumption of the presidency in 2017, issues of disagreement have increased and dissenting voices have risen, most notably the Yellow Vests movement at the end of 2018, which has been followed by societal and security tensions that have increased the pace of the Corona epidemic, and the accompanying closures and the economic crisis that left a deep impact in various sectors, as well as the draft security law Al-Shamil, “which many parties saw as restricting freedoms, which led to the mobilization of the street despite the epidemic.
Workers union with yellow jackets .. One goal
When the yellow vest movement first appeared – in which thousands of French workers and taxpayers participated – the unions found themselves in a delicate situation and did not participate in the demonstrations, but later joined the protests, raising the same slogans because the goal is one.
This was confirmed by the Secretary-General of the Labor Union, Philip Martinez, when he said that “the yellow jackets reflect all the trade unions, namely: small and medium-sized companies, retired workers, precarious workers, and the unemployed …”.
A large number of trade unions called for demonstrations in France due to the repercussions of Corona on the field of employment, to denounce the dismissal plans and the decline in wages, and to demand the necessity to reduce working hours related to the crisis without losing the salary.
The sectors of tourism, culture, hotels and restaurants have expressed their dissatisfaction, and have called on the government to take responsibility for operating losses and the dire financial situation, in addition to medical care providers who suffer from a lack of resources, lawyers and self-employed who are hostile to the retirement system.
The marches were launched at the invitation of the Journalists Syndicate, the editorial companies, the human rights association and the French Amnesty International due to Article 24 of the Public Security Law, which limits freedoms.
Young people and join the demonstrations
In addition to the General Union of Workers’ defense of the rights of young people at work due to the multiplication of layoff plans by large companies, the General Union of Student Associations and the National Union of French Students – the two main student organizations in France – reported on the high cost of student life for the year 2021/2020.
According to the two organizations, each student will spend at least 32 euros per month to buy masks only due to the health crisis, and the rent, which takes 69% of the monthly student budget, increases by 5% in cities such as Paris and Bordeaux.
Young people joined the demonstrations and raised slogans denouncing the increase in “killing freedom” measures due to the comprehensive security law, night curfews, and the closure of restaurants, cafes and sports clubs.
Consequently, Macron’s popularity has clearly decreased among those under the age of 35, as their positive opinions decreased by 6 points between 28 and 24 years, and 7 points between 25 and 34 years, according to the IFOP institute.
Macron Between Two Fires: Demonstrations and Criticism of Politicians and Even Police
Macron’s popularity was affected by the multiple tensions, and his promise to the French “of a peaceful society and reconciliation between the French at the end of his term in 2022” – as stated in his election program – became a difficult matter, observers say.
In turn, Pierre Pearson says after his resignation from the position of Deputy Secretary-General of the Republican Forward Party in France, “The party is no longer producing new ideas, we must return to the basic promise of the presidential campaign of” reconciliation with the French “. French society has not been divided into this. Reduction by “.
On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron’s responses poured more fuel on the fire during his interview with the Brut digital platform on December 4, when he admitted his failure to “combat discrimination”, and made hundreds of police officers come out to demonstrate.
“We were very surprised by the words of the President of the Republic. He doubts the legitimacy of our missions, and this puts us in trouble. The police pretend to denounce their lack of observance,” said Philip Duspa, secretary-general of the National Police Alliance.
According to Frederick Dappe, Deputy Director General of the IFOP Institute, “Macron is stuck between two fires – the young men who denounce police violence and public security law, and the elderly and Republican sympathizers who blame him for his pro-police comments during his interview with Prut.”
The decline in the popularity of Prime Minister Jean Castex by two points and Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blancer may negatively affect the confidence of the French in the current government by six points.
At a time when figures such as the leader of the French far left, Jean-Luc Milenchon, a supporter of the yellow jackets protests and opponents of Macron’s economic policies – who announced his candidacy for the next French presidency on November 8 – has not been announced by President Emmanuel Macron clearly his intention to run for re-election in 2022. In his last interview via the electronic media.
Will Macron be absent from the electoral arena already? Or is it “nothing should be excluded” as he put it?