French President Emmanuel Macron, 40 anni, appears to be clawing back support as he works to quell the yellow vest protest movement with a national political debate.
Recent polls by Ifop, BVA and Harris Interactive institutes show Macron’s approval ratings rising – from 23 to 31% in December to 31 to 35% now.
But President Macron knows the rebound is ver fragile, saying recently he feels like he is “walking on thin ice.”
President Macron’s popularity reached its lowest marks after the anti-government, yellow vest protests broke out in November -with many demonstrators calling for his resignation. The protests reached their peak in early December when the French capital was scene to rioting, shops and museums closed and graffiti was sprayed over the Arc de Triomphe monument.
The fear of further violence became so acute that President Macron’s wife, Brigitte Macron, and some presidential aides visited the nuclear-proof bunker, the location of which remains secret.
French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche recently revealed in a report called “the 10 days when Emmanuel Macron trembled.”
President Macron has since announced a package of measures worth about $11.4-B to boost workers’ and retirees’ purchasing power and launched a “grand debate” to let ordinary French people express their views on the country’s economic and democratic issues.
Over the last 3 weeks, President Macron has traveled across France to take part in several debates. Standing in the middle of crowds of hundreds, he answered dozens of questions for 6 to 7 hours runnning, often broadcast live on French news channels.
“The grand debate now takes almost as much place as the yellow vests in the French media.”
President Macron’s move aims at showing political “courage and authority” and to provide a reminder of his 1st 6 months in power in Y 2017.
The Deputy director general of Ifop, said the combination of emergency measures and the grand debate “give the impression that he’s back in the game, and in the context of protests he appears as a protection against instability.”
The young French leader is very unpopular and widely perceived as arrogant, he has been dubbed “President of the rich” because his pro-business policies are perceived as favoring the rich.
The smallest thing could have him falling through the Thin Ice.