If Macron Fails, Europe Fails

If Macron Fails, Europe Fails, by Henrik Enderlein. In Der Spiegel, this is the globalist view of France.

Many French people now see Macron’s election to the presidency as something of an accident. Emmanuel Macron had no party, little experience, and lots of luck. His political opponents destroyed each other. Indeed, polls show that far less than half of Macron’s voters in spring 2017 voted for him out of conviction. The rest of his voters, though, indicated that the other candidates, Marine Le Pen first and foremost, were simply unelectable. …

Macron loosened the rules for firing employees and broke up the rigid wage-negotiation system. He simultaneously lowered the budget deficit below the 3-percent mark for the first time since 2007. He even modernized the sacrosanct French secondary-school diploma, known as the baccalauréat. Emmanuel Macron has already reformed his country more profoundly than all the presidents before him — at least since Mitterrand, who implemented an important wave of modernization starting in 1983.

Macron is proud of his reforms. Rightly so. He believes these reforms will bring growth back to France. Rightly so. He also believes that new growth in France will repair the social imbalances in the country. Rightly so. But Macron is forgetting about the span of time required between reform, growth and social justice. Many French don’t want to wait. They want results. Immediately.

The yellow vests don’t have a face, but they have charisma. And they are united in anger. They want a revolution and they want more net income. They don’t care what this might mean economically for their highly indebted country. They loathe the self-proclaimed revolutionary at the top, his aloof reliance on symbols, his know-it-all revolutionary rationality. Although the Élysée’s arguments are technocratically coherent, the gilets jaunes confront them with brutal simplicity: If you abolish the wealth tax but raise the price of diesel by six cents per liter, you are an enemy of the people.