'Emmanuel Macron promised “significant” tax cuts for France’s middle classes while cutting public spending but told the French they must work like their “neighbours”, in a much-awaited response to five-months of “yellow vest” protests.
In what the French media dubbed his “moment of truth”, the 41-year old centrist promised citizens a “new act in our Republic” during a marathon two hour and 20 minute press conference at the Elysée - his first since his election - in which he confessed his way of running the country had lacked “humanity”.
After enacting a whirlwind set of reforms, notably loosening labour laws, the president has been on the back foot since he was blindsided by nationwide protests initially fuel tax rises but which morphed into wider anger at the inability of provincial France to make ends meet.
Much of the fury was directed towards Mr Macron in person, seen as an arrogant “president of the rich”. Stunned, he offered a first string of sweeteners in December worth €10 billion euros but this failed to calm anger among low-income workers.
He then launched an unprecedented three-month nationwide “great debate”, personally taking place in many himself. Millions made online contributions.
On Thursday, Mr Macron confirmed he would continue to take part in debates around the country, saying they were all part of “the art of being French”.
During his address, he said the tax cuts would be worth around €5 billion euros.
"We must work more, I've said it before. France works much less than its neighbours. We need to have a real debate on this," Mr Macron told 150 journalists gathered under the chandeliers of the Elysée’s recently refurbished ballroom.
Mr Macron confirmed leaked plans to scrap the ENA, France’s finishing school for future presidents, saying that while he deeply believed in a meritocratic system of recruiting the country’s elite civil servants, it failed to reflect a cross-section of society.
He stood firm on calls to reinstate a wealth tax he had cut at the start of the presidency, saying it would be reviewed in 2020.'
Read more: France must work more, Emmanuel Macron tells 'yellow vests'
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
20 March 2020
Stay near home & no cycling: France tightens Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to ‘max 2km from home’
18 March 2020
Slog ‘Patsy’ accusations vindicated as France goes on army-enforced, open-ended curfew
From our advertisers
Sanity Amid The Madness, Acquiescence And Sheer Stupidity (DEVASTATING information) - David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast
28 March 2020
UK's Imperial College Found As Sole Agent Of Panic Over Coronavirus - as I have been highlighting: Who the hell are these people who are destroying human society??
9 hours ago
PETER HITCHENS: There’s powerful evidence this Great Panic is foolish, yet our freedom is still broken and our economy crippled
From our advertisers