french president Emmanuel Macron He promised this Sunday that he will respond to the discontent of far-right voters in France, after his re-election with around 58% of the vote against the far-right Marine Le Pen, according to initial estimates.
“From now on, I am no longer the candidate of a field, but the president of all,” Macron added during his victory speech at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where he also promised a “renewed method” to direct the country after a first term marked by protests and find an answer to the “rage” of those who voted for Le Pen.
After a term plagued by crisis, Macron, candidate for The Republic on the Move (LREM), became this April 24 the first president to achieve his re-election in France since 2002, but beyond applying his controversial reforms, his main challenge will be to unite the country.
Since coming to power in 2017, the centrist has faced harsh protests against his reforms, a global pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, with the same impetus with which he once again defeated the extreme right.
But he was unable to erase his image as “arrogant” and alienated from the popular classes. Macron “has promised that he will change his way of reforming and many voters expect it,” CNRS expert Bruno Cautrès told the Libération daily.
Months before arriving at the Elysee five years ago, he already warned that he would be a “Jupiterine president”, an expression that, according to the Larousse dictionary, evokes the “dominating and authoritarian character” of the Roman god Jupiter. And he did not disappoint.
The crisis of the “yellow vests” was its maximum exponent. This protest, which arose in 2018 due to the rise in fuel prices, spread throughout France to denounce the measures towards the popular classes of this former banker.
The mobilization underpinned his image of “president of the rich” and disconnected from reality, which was earned with controversial phrases such as when he said that at train stations “you come across people who have been successful and people who are nothing”.
“I think I got [al poder] with a vitality that I hope to continue to have, and with a desire to shake” the system, he justified himself in December during an interview about his mandate, in which he acknowledged “errors.”
“We are in war”
As of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic ended these protests in a new France of confinements and masks and promoted the most “Jupiterine” profile of Macron: “We are at war” against the Covid-19then stressed.
His personal management of the worst crisis since the Second World War earned him attacks from the opposition and, despite the initial suspicion of the population, he knew how to gain their trust and impose controversial measures such as the health passport.
The current Russian offensive in Ukraine represents another crisis that brought out the hyper-leadership of the centrist president who, despite failing in his attempt to prevent war, reinforced his international aura among the French.
“The vote for Macron is not based on an improvement in the situation of the French, but on an ability to manage crises, to face crises in a world that the French know is increasingly unstable,” he told the radio. France blueMathieu Gallard of Ipsos France.
This elegant man with a slender figure and blue eyes was little known until his appointment as Economy Minister in 2014 by the then French president, Francois Hollandeafter being his economic adviser.
Three years later, Macron, born in 1977 in Amiens (north) into a middle-class family, became the youngest elected president of France, at 39, at the end of a meteoric rise of a man in a hurry .
“Brilliant and charismatic”
In 1995, he graduated with honors from the prestigious Parisian Lycée Henry IV, after which he obtained a Master’s degree in Philosophy. During her college years she worked as an editorial assistant to the renowned French philosopher Paul Ricoeur.
In his student days he was already “brilliant and charismatic”, “a good speaker”, “with a profile like Barack Obama”, said in 2016 Julien Aubert, his classmate at the National School of Administration (ENA), the former center of elite formation.
By then, he had already found the love of his life. At the age of 16, he fell in love with his drama teacher, Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years older and mother of three children, who ended up divorcing her. The mediatic couple that breaks molds married in 2007.
Macron now hopes to complete his ambitious program of reforms, interrupted by the pandemic, and to do so he must first achieve a parliamentary majority in the June legislative elections. But 66% of the French hope that it will not, according to a recent BVA survey.
Among his promises to transform France is the “renaissance” of nuclear power, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and his unpopular measure of raising the retirement age from 62 to 65, although he has already said he is willing to delay it only 64 years old.
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