the fraternal president
May 22, 2018 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Après plusieurs propositions controversées de droit du travail, les cheminots, les étudiants, contrôleurs aériens, et les fonctionnaires en France sont en grève, perturbant le pays. Macron déterminé à réformer la SNCF, il promet d'aller «au bout»

Public employees strike in France, disrupting transit and challenging economic changes by President Macron - 22 MAR
French rail workers are striking 2 days out of 5 for the next 3 months - 3 APR
French government stands firm as strikes bring more railway chaos - 4 APR
French train strikes resume as unions square off with Macron - 7 APR
New round of French rail strikes against Macron reforms hits weekend travel - 28 APR

Signs of a French Spring - "It’s far from clear whether these various protests will coalesce into a unified movement. They remain largely isolated for now. But the potential for what French left-wing activists term a “convergence of struggles” is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Here’s an overview of the situation."

Réforme de la SNCF : l’argent, nerf de la grève

SNCF : la grève faiblit, le malaise cheminot grandit - « La journée de vendredi a vu coïncider l’un des plus faibles taux de mobilisation depuis le début du conflit avec une défaite des syndicats dans la bataille sur le paiement des jours d’arrêt de travail ».

SNCF : les trois quarts des Français et des usagers du train favorables à la réforme ferroviaire
Le sentiment de ces derniers se distingue très peu de celui de la moyenne des Français : 76 % des clients trouvent la réforme justifiée et 57 % d’entre eux considèrent que les cheminots ont trop d’avantages (58 % pour l’ensemble des Français).

Pas d’empathie avec les grévistes, donc, mais plutôt un rejet d’autant plus fort que les personnes ont été gênées par le conflit : 54 % des utilisateurs réguliers du train et 57 % des usagers des TER et Intercités (les plus touchés par le mouvement) se déclarent opposés ou hostiles à la grève, contre 51 % pour l’ensemble des Français. L’un des autres enseignements de cette enquête est la réduction des clivages (jeunes/vieux, public/privé) pour aller vers une moyenne autour de 70 % -75 % en faveur de la réforme.
title is from Macron’s Centrism Is Coming Apart at the Seams
As a candidate for the French presidency in 2017, Emmanuel Macron frequently boasted that he was “neither right nor left,” championing his candidacy as a third way. He then amended this self-description to “both right and left.” In the run-up to round one of the elections, Macron even gave a class of elementary school students a charming lesson in the difference: the right stood for liberty, he said with a disarming smile, while the left championed equality. Promising to bridge the gap between the two, he would be the candidate of fraternity. Liberté, égalité, fraternité: It was a neat hat trick for the former philosophy student, who managed to beguile the roomful of schoolchildren with his Hegelian synthesis of France’s contentious revolutionary past.

Pardonnez s'il vous plaît ma terrible machine-traduction française.
posted by the man of twists and turns (13 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
My french is not good enough to understand everything above the fold, but I'm delighted to see a non-english post!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 9:51 PM on May 22, 2018 [17 favorites]

Hmm, it's seeming like he wasn't able to turn himself from a random minister in the cabinet of one of the least popular presidents in French history into a distant but beloved father figure to the French people draped in perfect wisdom like unto Jupiter himself. I guess it's like they say, it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
posted by Copronymus at 9:51 PM on May 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

Why the French Are Growing Angry With Emmanuel Macron

Retrouvez l’intégralité de l’interview d’Emmanuel Macron sur BFMTV-RMC-Mediapart

Macron warned against authoritarianism. In France, he is seen as a liberal strongman.

President Macron’s Trouble at Home - "What of Macron’s own domestic political problems? All the spin and PR aside, one year into his administration, Macron faces daunting unrest and discontent. Thus far, his proferred solutions to bring the much-vaunted “reform” that France needs have amounted to a familiar package of neoliberal policies that many countries, the US included, have tried and tested to destruction—triggering, as the economist Thomas Piketty has shown, a historic surge in economic inequality. Although Macron had promised to “listen to the citizens,” many French people have begun to lose faith in the idea that he has anything to offer besides the standard technocratic responses of the elites he is so familiar with."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:01 PM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

"the right stood for liberty"

my red white and blue ass it does or did
posted by mwhybark at 10:12 PM on May 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm not sure if this is a "Spring", but after the last big one, it turned out that capitalism staged its own death and appropriated the sign of revolution for its own fascinating power.
posted by runcifex at 10:16 PM on May 22, 2018

Tony Blair, c'est toi?
posted by lalochezia at 10:31 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have a French ex-pat friend who remains active in the Socialist party and I get most of my news about French politics through them. Their strong distaste of Macron has also rubbed off on me, though I wouldn't say my opinion is fully informed. They are mostly concerned about the wing of the party that sees Macron as "good enough" even though the man has clearly stated and demonstrated that he is no socialist.
(Awkwardly, I have another French ex-pat friend who strongly supported Macron in his run for the presidency and for whom the sheen hasn't worn off, as far as I can tell. We don't talk much politics.)

This is a bit selfish, but I'll be in Europe in July and I'm crossing my fingers that it the strike won't affect my travel plans too much. That said, if it does - well, I'm an adult, and I'll figure out how to get from X to Y.
posted by invokeuse at 11:17 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

So now Mélenchon's euroskeptic left France Insoumise have won over major trade union CGT to the "flood of people" demonstration set for this Saturday. (This is a new tack for the union, who have studiously resisted overt political alliances in recent years, and part of Mélenchon's ambitious drive for a common popular front against Macron.)
posted by progosk at 12:24 AM on May 23, 2018

It's telling that having a thin few percentage points gets cast by the press as the people "having no empathy with the strikers." It's more like 49% of the population does, in fact, have empathy with them, which is quite a lot.

Also telling that the stats then go on to focus on the reform, which in and of itself, is well-known to be only a first step. But if you just ask about support for the first step, sure, much of it is reasonable. People aren't fools though, Macron has a history and it's clear there will be further steps. Thus the 43% to 49% of support for the strikes. That jives with what I see in person. Even among people who say they're against the strikes, most grudgingly admit the strikers have a point, they just don't like the strikes themselves. But you won't find stats or articles on that.

Air France's CEO stepped down (confirmed – I couldn't find a neutral article about it post-quitting; most articles on the aftermath focus on what a travesty it was for AF stock prices).

Here's the train strike calendar and if you've reserved a seat, you can check here after 5pm the day before to be sure it's still running. If not, you can be reimbursed.

It doesn't affect the RATP, i.e. Paris metro, buses, and RERs (Paris commuter trains).
posted by fraula at 12:36 AM on May 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

Macron has a history

Indeed he does. One short report from 2014:

Macron's Gambit
posted by gimonca at 4:16 AM on May 23, 2018

Le problème avec Macron est le suivant : il se présentait comme borgne au pays des aveugles, et il s'avère qu'il est non seulement borgne, mais aussi sourd.
posted by nicolin at 10:40 AM on May 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

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