Macron Hopes Talk Will Calm France, but an Air of Menace Prevails The New York Times

Macron Hopes Talk Will Calm France, but an Air of Menace Prevails   The New York Times


Mr. Bellon, the historian, declined to see the threats against Mr. Macrons deputies as a wholesale rejection of the French republic — for now. Its not a rejection of democracy. The republic is still pretty robust, he said. But — we dont know if it will widen. Mr. Macrons parliamentary leadership has sought to tread a delicate line, denouncing the violence without appearing to reject the Yellow Vest grievances, which continue to have the support of a majority of the French. On Tuesday, Gilles Le Gendre, the leader of Republic on the Move in parliament, gingerly blamed the Yellow Vests for the incidents targeting his members. in a news conference at the National Assembly. Its not just a social movement, he said at a news conference at the National Assembly. Some in it have political intentions, with a desire to mix it up, as weve seen on these Saturdays — the days of the mass demonstrations. But, Mr. Le Gendre told reporters, we really just want to move on. That is clearly Mr. Macrons desire as well. Still hovering around 30 percent in opinion polls — a slight rise — he called Sunday in an open letter to his fellow citizens for a new contract for the nation. He is banking that the Great National Debate will produce minimal guidelines for policy that will have some degree of national assent. Yellow Vest leaders immediately dismissed the letter on Facebook pages. Mr. Macron set out what he regards as the central questions on the minds of the French — questions that are suggested by hundreds of so called Grievance books, a term that goes back to the beginnings of the French Revolution. The books have now set out in mayors offices across the country for the citizens to fill in. Tax cuts are clearly the popular priority. How can we make our fiscal system more just and more efficient? Mr. Macron asked in his letter. What taxes should we cut? But he warned the French, underlining a paradox that many have found at the heart of the Yellow Vest movement: We cannot, in any event, pursue tax cuts without cutting the overall level of public spending. He continued, taking a risk in the live wire French context, Should we cut some public services which are out of date or too expensive in relation to their usefulness?

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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