A year after coming to power, the popularity of the French president is at its lowest level
2,000 policemen, including several riot police, were closely watching the Paris Opera Square and the tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting against the policies promoted by President Emmanuel Macron. In other Gallic cities, such as Toulouse or Bordeaux, there have also been concentrations, although smaller.
Leer en español: Macron pierde la chispa con sus seguidores
The protest in the capital, which took place on Saturday, May 5, began as a giant picnic attended by thousands of families. The organizers had asked the participants to maintain a "festive" attitude during the convocation, the culmination of which was a concert at the Place de la Bastille, a place that usually hosts demonstrations on the left.
In the days commemorating the 50th anniversary of the protests of May '68, the leader and candidate of France Insumisa (LFI), Jean Luc Mélenchon has criticized the privatization of Macron and the deterioration of workers' conditions.
With the violent riots of the Labor Day demonstration, still fresh and that left many damages in the capital perpetrated by the 'black blocs' (violent anti-system groups), the far-right National Front party already stated that the French were not going to tolerate that the authority of the state was mocked in this new protest of the left.
Some government spokespersons expressed concern about the increase in violence in recent demonstrations. As for the protest on Saturday, May 5, the motto was 'Fete à Macron', which according to the context may have a double meaning in French: to make a celebration to someone or to damage him.
During the march, four floats representing different characters such as Dracula, Jupiter and Napoleon were shown, all dressed in a mask from Emmanuel Macron to make fun of the president, whom they accuse of being the 'President of the Rich'. This demonstration is the latest in a first series of protests against Macron, whose reforms in several sectors such as education or railroads have caused much discomfort in a certain part of the population. The next round of marches will begin on May 26.
Meanwhile, many faculties of different universities are still blocked by the president's intention to make access to higher education much more selective, which is affecting the normal development of final exams.
Emmanuel Macron arrived at the Eliseo Palace a year ago and at 39, he became the youngest president in France. His coming to power was seen with good eyes both in the Gallic country and in the rest of Europe, being someone who could introduce new ideas in a very tense nation after the criticized mandate of his predecessor, François Hollande. However, it seems that the initial euphoria has very soon come across the reality of the country, which is always politically complicated. There are still four years left until the next presidential election enough time for the president to regain credibility or continue to win opponents.
Latin American Post | José María González
Translated from “ Macron pierde la chispa con sus seguidores”