Poll: Majority of French citizens feel Macron policies are ‘unjust’

As many as 71 percent of French citizens believe that French President Emmanuel Macron’s policy is “unjust,” an Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting survey, conducted for the Franceinfo radio and Le Figaro newspaper, showed on Thursday.
According to the poll results, Macron’s policy is considered “unjust” by supporters of French left-wing parties (98 percent of France Insoumise supporters and 78 percent of Socialist Party supporters), as well as by supporters of right-wing parties (75 percent of The Republicans supporters and 85 percent of National Rally supporters).

Moreover, 65 percent of respondents consider measures taken by Macron “ineffective,”the poll showed.

The survey, in which 1,005 French citizens took place, was held from July 4 to July 5.

The approval rating of French President Emmanuel Macron has reportedly dropped by 3 percentage points in May to 40 percent, amid numerous manifestations against the government’s reforms.

Multiple protests have taken place in France since mid-2017, with students, employees and the labor unions from the education, agriculture, prison security, retirement home, railway, aviation and non-profit sectors protesting against the unpopular measures introduced or being considered by the government.

In April, the French National Assembly passed a bill on reforming the SNCF to open the railway sector for competition among private enterprises. The move caused massive strikes of railroad workers, as they fear the legislation may lead to the cancellation of benefits for employees, such as early retirement and job security. 

Meanwhile, the major reform in Macron’s program was changing the French labor code. The reform was aimed at liberalizing the labor market, tackling high unemployment and putting French legislation in line with the European one, notably German.

It replaced the existing agreements of industries (accord of the branches) with the agreement of enterprises, meaning that every employer could now negotiate the salaries and the working hours with its employees, without the need to look back at the industry’s regulations.

This major change is seen by the labor unions as depriving workers of their rights and weakening the role of their representatives.

Macron was also largely criticized for misunderstanding the needs of the French popular class, and his proximity to the world’s richest bankers raised concerns that his politics may benefit the wealthiest social groups. Last year, the French government announced the transformation of the French infamous solidarity tax on wealth (ISF), replacing it with the solidarity tax on real estate – a measure which will allow the wealthy part of the French society to save a lot of money. 

At the same time the cuts in housing allocation (APL) by 5 euros ($6) per month left many outraged.

Emmanuel Macron was sworn in as president in May last year. His government has launched a series of reforms, including a labor reform and, more recently, the one of French public railway system, both of which were unpopular with trade unions.