Emmanuel Macron’s shrinking revolution

Office workers break for lunch at the Grande Arche in the La Defense district of Paris
President Emmanuel Macron was supposed to cut back France’s bureaucracy, including office workers at this government complex in the La Defense district, Paris (source: dpa)
  • The new French government’s tax cuts have been largely offset by new levies
  • Promised reductions in public sector employment are also not materializing
  • Mr. Macron’s go-slow approach is highly vulnerable to economic or political shocks

The popularity of Emmanuel Macron is easy to understand: France’s 40-year-old president is youthful and chic, with a rhetorical style that recalls JFK and the personal charm of a Justin Trudeau. His ambitions are attractive, too – to get rid of the traditional right-left divide on the political scene, sweep away the “corrupt” old parties, and transform a country in dire need of reform. He even pledged to shake up the Common Agricultural Policy – until now a taboo subject for any French leader.

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