Macron warns of ‘finish of abundance’ as France faces tough winter

Macron warns of ‘finish of abundance’ as France faces tough winter

Emmanuel Macron has warned the French they’re dealing with sacrifices and what he known as the “finish of abundance”, at his authorities’s first cupboard assembly after the summer season holidays.

The president, talking earlier than ministers on the Élysée, mentioned the nation was at a “tipping level” and confronted a tough winter and a brand new period of instability attributable to local weather change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

His cautionary and sombre speech, which was instantly criticised by opponents as ill-judged and a snub to the nation’s out-of-work and poor who had already made sacrifices, got here after a summer season of maximum temperatures, widespread wildfires, drought and storms.

Macron mentioned France and the French felt they have been dwelling via a collection of crises, “every worse than the final”.

“What we’re presently dwelling via is a sort of main tipping level or a fantastic upheaval … we live the tip of what might have appeared an period of abundance … the tip of the abundance of merchandise of applied sciences that appeared all the time accessible … the tip of the abundance of land and supplies together with water,” he mentioned.

He thanked “our firemen, elected representatives and farmers who confronted the fires and drought”.

Macron added that France, Europe and the world had maybe been too “insouciant” about threats to democracy and human rights and the “rise of intolerant regimes and strengthening of authoritarian regimes”.

“This overview that I’m giving, the tip of abundance, the tip of insouciance, the tip of assumptions – it’s in the end a tipping level that we’re going via that may lead our residents to really feel lots of nervousness. Confronted with this, we’ve got an obligation, duties, the primary of which is to talk frankly and clearly with out doom-mongering,” he mentioned.

‘After we speak in regards to the finish of abundance, I consider the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, the hundreds of thousands of these in a precarious scenario,’ mentioned the pinnacle of the CGT union, Philippe Martinez, pictured right here in June 2022. {Photograph}: Luc Nobout/Zuma Press/Rex/Shutterstock

Philippe Martinez, the secretary normal of the highly effective CGT union, mentioned Macron’s feedback have been “misplaced” and that many in France had by no means identified abundance.

“After we speak in regards to the finish of abundance, I consider the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, the hundreds of thousands of these in a precarious scenario. For a lot of French individuals, instances are already exhausting, sacrifices have already been made,” Martinez mentioned.

The president’s warnings got here because it was revealed that the dividends paid out by main French firms reached a report €44bn within the second quarter of 2022, on account of what have been described as distinctive earnings in 2021. The financial newspaper Les Echos mentioned the dividend payout was nearly 33% up on the earlier yr and was the results of a post-Covid financial catchup.

Macron, who was re-elected for a second five-year time period in April however misplaced his parliamentary majority within the subsequent normal election, and his authorities are dealing with a rocky rentrée, the normal September return to work and college after the lengthy summer season break in France.

After months of successive election campaigns, his newly appointed authorities had little time to determine itself earlier than the vacations, placing this yr’s return to parliamentary enterprise underneath specific scrutiny.

The president, who leaves for a three-day go to to Algeria on Thursday, has advised ministers that measures to deal with the local weather emergency and its penalties in addition to these specializing in renewable energies have to be a precedence this autumn, and he has urged a “normal mobilisation” to handle it.

The prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, is predicted to provide particulars on new measures on the annual convention held by Medef, the French employers’ federation, subsequent Monday.

Earlier this month, whereas attending a commemoration ceremony for Operation Dragoon, the allied invasion of Provence in 1944, Macron mentioned this autumn and winter could be a tough one for the nation, with a threat of power shortages and excessive costs on account of Russia’s conflict on Ukraine, and this was “the value to pay for freedom”.

Critics have accused the president of giving no clear purpose for his second and ultimate mandate. His authorities might want to make alliances to make sure its 2023 funds passes via a divided parliament, one other rentrée precedence. The federal government additionally faces a battle to move election manifesto measures together with modifications to the unemployment profit system and pensions that can put it on a direct collision course with the left and unions, who’re vehemently against the proposals.

Bernard Sananès, of the opinion pollsters Elabe, mentioned Macron was making ready the French for unhealthy instances. “It’s a sort of political anticipation. If issues actually turn into tough, the president must have known as it beforehand to keep away from giving the impression that occasions have taken him and his authorities abruptly,” Sananès advised AFP.

The chief of the French Communist get together, Fabien Roussel, a presidential candidate earlier this yr, expressed astonishment at Macron’s speech. “Unbelievable! It’s as if the French have had no worries and been over-indulging themselves. We have now 10 million poor in France due to President Macron’s carelessness and the predatory behaviour of the wealthy,” Roussel tweeted.

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