Macron pays high price in popularity over pension reform, survey shows
French president’s support is as low as during the protests of the so-called Yellow Jackets.
Emmanuel Macron is paying a high price for his push on pension reform as a survey on Sunday showed the French president is facing a new low in popularity — as low as during the protests of the so-called Yellow Jackets.
As the French take to the streets to protest against Macron’s pension reform, 70 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied with the president, according to the Ifop barometer published by Le Journal du Dimanche. Macron’s popularity rating fell by 4 points in one month, it showed.
Since December, Macron has suffered a substantial drop of 8 points, and he now sees only 28 percent satisfied and 70 percent dissatisfied, according to the poll carried out, Le Figaro emphasized, between March 9 and 16.
That is the same period as the negotiations that finally led the Elysée to shun parliament and impose the unpopular pension reforms via a special constitutional power, the so-called Article 49.3, which provides that the government can pass a bill without a vote at the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, after a deliberation at a Cabinet meeting.
The procedure has been used in the past by various governments. But this time it’s prompting a lot of criticism because of the massive public opposition to the proposed reform, which raises the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years. Some media stress that recent opinion polls have shown that a majority of the French are opposed to this type of procedure.
“You have to go back to the end of the Yellow Jackets crisis in early 2019 to find comparable levels of unpopularity,” writes Le Journal du Dimanche commenting the survey. The outlet also stresses that dissatisfaction with Macron crosses all categories, the younger generations as well as the blue- and white-collar workers.
A total of 169 people, including 122 in Paris, were taken in custody for questioning on Saturday evening in France during demonstrations marred by tensions between the police and the protesters, according to French media citing figures communicated on Sunday by the Ministry of the Interior.