Two-thirds or 66% of the citizens of France remain unhappy with President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership, a poll revealed on Sunday.
Only 34 per cent of those who participated in a poll launched by Institut français d’opinion publique (IFOP), for the conservative weekly Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), said they were “satisfied” with Macron’s presidency, while 66 per cent said they were “dissatisfied.”
At the height of the Yellow Vests protests in December 2018, Macron’s approval rating slid down to 23 per cent.
However, in a survey conducted among 988 people on August 21-22, the young leader’s popularity rating managed to climb its way back to pre-crisis levels.
The first Yellow Vests rallies were held in November 2018 to block the administration’s fuel tax hike proposal. However, the movement evolved to a larger scale which targeted Macron’s style of leadership.
In a bid to save his dwindling popularity and end unrest, Macron pledged tax cuts. He said that the tax cuts would be worth some €5 billion and financed by eliminating corporate tax breaks, longer work hours and reductions in public spending.
In June, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that Macron’s social benefit and pension reforms would be relaunched as “Act II”. He promised that these reformed measures would be better than the previous ones.
PM Philippe said his administration intends to create incentives for the French to remain in work longer and reiterated his intention to simplify France’s unwieldy pensions system to make it fairer:
“We will maintain the possibility to retire at 62, but we will define a pivot age and incentives to work longer.”
Regarding unemployment benefits, PM Philippe explained that allowances would be scaled back for high earners who become unemployed. He also said that the scheme whereby employees receive benefits that go beyond their monthly salary would be discontinued. While demonstrations have ended, people are awaiting the implementations of reforms in the pension and unemployment benefits systems. Failure to deliver promises would certainly drive yellow vests back to the streets.