Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Macron seeks support at parliament session amid decreasing popularity

09 Jul 2018, 22:03 ( 7 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
French President Emmanuel Macron. File Photo Xinhua.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday addressed a joint session of parliament in a fresh move to salvage his sliding popularity amid increasing criticisms.

   Speaking to the audience at Versailles Palace, Macron acknowledged "a President of the Republic can not do everything and does not succeed everything," inviting French people to trust him to devote on his pledges of economic and social transformation.

   "I have not forgotten anything of fears, anger accumulated for years. They won't disappear in a day, they have not disappeared in a year," Macron told the gathering.

   On May 7, Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and became the first French president who doesn't come from one of the country's two mainstream parties.

   With the "The Republic on the Move," a party he created in 2016, he pledged to work for a stronger eurozone, further economic openness to strengthen domestic economy and create wider businesses opportunities for millions of unemployed people.

   However, a year later, 76 percent of people did not appreciate his policy, according to an Elabe survey released on Friday. Calling it "unfair", most of the respondents thought the package of measures, on which the 40-year-old president rely to flourish the country's economy, would be ineffective and would not allow to improve the business climate.

   "I am fully aware of the gap between the scale of the undertaken reforms and the result... It takes time, and sometimes a long time, for the initiated transformation to become a reality in the country," Macron said.

   Recalling his action to reform mainly education and labor market, the head of state defended a coherent action, arguing "policies that help companies are not for the wealthy. They are policies for the entire nation, policies that add job."

   He also highlighted his plan for "France of 21st century", which according to him was "a strong, economic, social, national and European project," that would help to reach economic recovery and have "best schools, best researches and best army."

   "It is, in short, a new, vivified patriotism that we are building. It is not done in a day, it is not done in a year...," he Added.

   In this context, the former investment banker announced that his executive team would unveil "in few weeks new decisions to meet commitments to lower public spending."

   The president also pledged to present a new strategy to fight poverty in September, which, according to him, "will not make it possible to live better in poverty, but to get o out of poverty."

   Breaking with his predecessors, Macron, pledged to make the joint session of the parliament's two houses an annual meeting to speak about what he did and what he will do to honor his pledges of better economy, unity, security and stability.

   However, many from both hard left and right wing parties did not appreciate the move, denouncing a monarchial way of governing.

   Rejecting critics of haughtiness, France's youngest top official in its modern history, stressed "I am humble but determined". He proposed to amend the constitution so that lawmakers could debate the president during the joint session at Versailles Palace.

   "This is an office that, realistically, requires humility. But humility in oneself, not humility for France," he said.