“Party for Macron”: What Do French People Complain of?

In the first anniversary of Emanuel Macron’s presidency in France, thousands of demonstrators came to central Paris in a protest called “Party for Macron”, the Local reports.

As the Guardian reports about 2,000 members of the security forces, including riot police, were deployed in Opera square. Protesters had “Stop Macron” banners and chanted “one year is enough”. The law enforcement services had to use tear gas against a violent group of protesters, as they were throwing bottles and stones at them, Sputnik News reports.

What are the main reasons the French people complain of?

Critics call him “president of the rich” for tax cuts for the wealthy. The criticism came after Macron introduced the finance law, which got rid of France’s wealth tax and replaced it with a 30 percent flat tax on income accrued from capital – considerably reducing the tax burden on the wealthiest, France 24 reports.

“The government has hit hard … (and) antagonizes a lot of people — except in the world of the rich,” rail worker Christophe Moreau said, Associated Press reports.

Still many economists argue that some of the changes that workers are protesting — like eliminating jobs for life in the French railway system or being allowed to reduce staff in a tough business environment — are the only way to make French companies viable in the 21st century.

In their turn, the students, who joined the protestors, were concerned by Macron’s plan to reform the higher education system to increase competitiveness, arguing that in that case the universal right to enroll in university programs may be threatened. According to them the plan is an attack on France’s egalitarian tradition of offering public higher education to all, tele Sur reports.

In addition, the protestors complained of the cuts on railway workers rights, removing the life-long job contracts, annual pay increases, and early retirement provisions, to deal with the company’s financial issues.

At the end it is interesting to note that according to a poll of more than 13,500 by Ipsos-Sopra Steria published on Saturday in Le Monde, some 45 per cent of French people approved Macron’s first year in office, still when asked about the government’s reform methods, 55 per cent of people taking part in the survey said they thought they were too authoritarian.