Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As I wrote before, the narrowing gap between Macron and Le Pen in the second round polls are starting to worry a lot of people in his camp.

What could derail his probable victory?

Unlike five years ago where he was a newcomer running as a "centrist", Macron is an incumbent and people can judge his five years: a lot of right wing neo-lib policies where a number of labor laws have been dismantled, unemployment benefits have been slashed, the hospitals have been under-staffed (as was painfully clear when the Covid struck), other "security" laws have taken aim at immigrants and Muslims (in the name of the Republic).

Macron has practiced a very vertical leadership style, deciding just about everything, including the sanitary restrictions during the Covid waves; hence his nickname of 'Jupiter' (or "the epidemiologist in chief"). His arrogant technocratic style has grated many people, especially from the working class who were feeling targeted by some of his off-the-cuff comments. The first thing he promised when announcing he'll be running for a second term would be to postpone the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65.

This arrogance has not make him many new friends and actually contributed to the gilets jaunes crisis. His arrogance is also irritating other governments in the EU, particularly on the eastern side, but they are not voting for him: Disenchanted French voters are.

A symbolic although minor issue is the 'McKinseyGate' (yes, we add the -gate suffix too in France): the Macron government has tripled the amount of contracts awarded to big consultancies, like McKinsey, whose some of their managers had been campaigning pro-bono for Macron back in 2017. Many of these contracts show a not obvious value for the money, and critics highlight that many (not all) of these missions could have been carried out by civil servants.

Cherry on the cake: McKinsey has not paid taxes in France, thanks to a perfectly legal tax avoidance accounting strategy. Macron and his camp are claiming that every was legal and above board, but it is still sticking to his shoes like an unwanted piece of bubble gum.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2022 at 04:54:42 PM EST

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