April 20, 2018
Macron at home
Emmanuel Macron's Berlin visit did not feature highly in the French news either. Instead papers looked back to Macron's first year in office. There is no doubt that under Macron many reform projects have been launched. Many of them are already completed, and this in a very short time period. Macron also did not shy away from contentious reforms. On the contrary, he even took on board the SNCF reform even if this had not been promised on the campaign trail. He succeeded to deliver the labour law reform, and is already planning the next challenge, a reform towards a unified pension system.
Despite all this reform frenzy, there is no sign of a revolution either, writes Les Échos. Instead there is an erosion of trust. The latest Elabe poll shows that 52% consider the election of Macron a bad thing. The French acknowledge Macron's transformational role, but they have lost sense of where this is leading. They also start to worry about the social impact, and what they will get out of this. They are concerned that his reforms will split the country rather than unite it. They also find that he is not delivering on his promise to protect, only to liberalise.
And then there is the question about coherence. The editorialist from L'Opinion finds there are just too many priority projects in the air, which needs to be squared with the government's budget commitments.
Every presidency benefits from the initial good will of the people. It seems that this moment is coming to an end for Macron. What will come next will be important to define what his presidency is about.