French president calls on his nation to stop moaning
French President Emmanuel Macron has called on his people to stop moaning, insisting that the nation would be better off if they modeled after wartime leader and former prime minister Charles de Gaulle.
The remarks came on Thursday during a visit to northeastern village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, where he spoke to a pensioner who complained he only had a small pension. Macron told in response: “You can speak freely, the only thing we should not do is to complain,” citing a Charles de Gaulle rule as quoted by his grandson, who Macron claimed to have talked to “a little while ago.”
“I think that the general had the right idea. The country would be different if everyone did the same,” the French president further emphasized, adding: “We don’t realize how lucky we are. We are seeing more and more elderly people in our country in good health.”
The visit came just a week after the government unveiled more budget cuts along with billions of euros in tax relief for businesses and households.
According to local press reports, pensions and welfare benefits in France will be further slashed in the 2019 budget after Macron complained in June that the country spends “a crazy amount of dough” on social programs.
Criticizing Macron’s Thursday remarks, leader of France’s far-right National Rally, Marine Le Pen, wrote in a Twitter post, “Those who complain don’t do it just for the fun of it but because they are the victims of non-stop tax rises and endemic insecurity.”
The French president was also criticized by the political opposition in August after he described his nation during a visit to Denmark as “Gauls who are resistant to change.”
Macron’s popularity has plummeted, hitting a record low amid a trial of resignation of his ministers. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb resigned on Wednesday his, the third cabinet member to quit in six weeks.
A recent poll showed Just 29 per cent of French respondents said they were satisfied with his leadership, down from 34 per cent in August and 39 per cent in July.
The French president came to office 18 months ago with a pledge to revitalize Europe’s third-biggest economy; but many voters ranging from conservative pensioners to low-income workers complain that his pro-business policies have mostly benefit companies and the rich.
France’s unemployment has been stuck above 9 percent for months now.