Tag Archives: Macron

Macron says Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Macron says Iran nuclear deal no longer enoughFrance’s President Emmanuel Macron declared Wednesday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer a sufficient safeguard against the growing power that Tehran wields in its region. “We need the 2015 accord,” he said of the agreement. Macron was speaking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, while ministers from Iran the six world powers that signed the accord met to discuss it.



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'France isn't liberal England', hardliners tell Emmanuel Macron, as tens of thousands protest labour reforms

'France isn't liberal England', hardliners tell Emmanuel Macron, as tens of thousands protest labour reformsFrance will not be turned into "liberal England', Emmanuel Macron has been warned, as clashes broke out in protests against loosening labour regulations seen as a key public test of the president's reformist resolve. Stone-throwing protesters in Paris clashed with police who responded with tear gas as some 4,000 strikes were called around France by the country's biggest public sector trade union, the hardline CGT. Rail workers, students and civil servants were urged to protest in cities from Paris to Toulouse. By mid-afternoon, the CGT had already deemed the protests a "success", with at least 100,000 in force in provincial France and 60,000 in Paris. Police said there were 24,000 protesters in Paris. The numbers were, however, well below protests against another labour reform last year. Hundreds of masked protesters dressed in black clashed with police in Paris, who responded with tear gas and water cannons.  Clashes between police and protesters at demonstration against the French government's labor reforms in Paris Credit: IAN LANGSDON/EPA The reference to Britain came not from the unions but from far-Left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who pledged to force Mr Macron to "backtrack" on business-friendly changes to France's labour code, which he recently called a "social coup d'état". "What is going to be a surprise is when he (Macron) ends up giving way," the leader of opposition party France Unbowed told reporters as he joined a protest in the southern port of Marseille.  "This country doesn't want the liberal world… France isn't England," he added. French leader of La France Insoumise far-left coalition Jean-Luc Melenchon (C) speaks with a CGT union's demonstrator during a protest called by several French unions against the labour law reform in Marseille,  southern France, on September 12, 201 Credit:  ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP Mr Mélenchon, who came fourth in this year's presidential elections, taking 19.6 per cent of around seven million votes sees Mr Macron, an ex-investment banker, as an Anglo-Saxon ultra-liberal whose aim is to unpick the French social model. Polls suggest he is currently seen as Mr Macron's most credible opponent, given the parlous state of the mainstream Right and Left. Unions are wary of the charismatic orator stealing their limelight as protest figurehead. They are not best pleased his party is organising a separate march on September 23. Mr Macron, meanwhile was thousands of miles away from the marches visiting hurricane-struck compatriots in the French Caribbean. France's President Emmanuel Macron waits on the tarmac of Pointe-a-Pitre airport, Guadeloupe island, before boarding an helicopter en route to French Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barthelemy Credit: CHRISTOPHE ENA / POOL/ AP POOL He made no mention of the strike protests as he visited the devastated islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, where residents are angry at the speed of the rescue effort.  But he will have kept a close eye on the scale of protests today against his business-friendly changes to the labour code. If the reform passes smoothly, it will bode well for a slew of other upcoming reforms on unemployment insurance, professional training and – most controversially – pensions. Protest leaders had hoped that ill-advised comments by Mr Macron apparently likening striking workers to "slackers" would swell the ranks of demonstrations around France. CGT leader Philippe Martinez said he was "scandalised" by the comment. "The president should listen to the people, understand them, rather than cause divisions," Mr Martinez told France 2. This was just "phase one" of protests, he insisted. Another is planned for September 21. Although the reform concerns the private sector, his union called for strikes across transport and other public sector businesses. A CGT union's demonstrator walks amid smoke of flares during a protest called by several French unions against the labour law reform in Rennes on September 12, 2017 Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP CGT workers from the rail, oil and power sectors also heeded his call. Roads into several major cities were blocked and some trains cancelled.  Budget airline Ryanair accused unions of “holding Europe to ransom” after being forced to cancel 110 flights. Furious, its marketing director Kenny Jacobs slammed the French government and European Commission saying: “They cannot stand idly by as more disruption and travel misery is inflicted upon Europe’s consumers and airlines.” Travellers were advised to check its website. Demonstrators, holding CGT labour union flags, attend a national strike and protest against the government's labour reforms in Marseille Credit: JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER/Reuters Some students' unions also called on members to take action. In the early hours of Tuesday, lorries were already blocking Paris' iconic Champs-Elysées and Place de l'Etoile, while staff at the Eiffel Tower were also due to go on strike in the afternoon. In one unexpected development, fairground workers – including the boss who runs the big wheel at Paris' Place de la Concorde – led blockages in Paris and elsewhere, furious at a totally unrelated administrative decree passed in April. A less radical reform of France's labour code sparked huge blockages and sometimes violent protests last year, but the Socialist government stood firm – a sign that the unions no longer have the clout to strong-arm Gallic governments to backtrack. This time, Mr Macron took comfort from the fact that two other unions, Force Ouvrière and the CFDT, the largest in the private-sector, declined to join the protests. However dozens of local units of the normally pugnacious FO ignored their leader's call to stay away and marched regardless.  After weeks of negotiations, the government last month set out measures including a cap on payouts for dismissals judged unfair, and greater freedom for companies to hire and fire. Secretary-General of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) French worker's union, Philippe Martinez Credit:  JOEL SAGET/AFP The reform hands firms more flexibility to set pay and working conditions. The government plans to adopt the new measures, being implemented by decree, on Sept. 22. During a trip to Athens on Friday, Macron told French business leaders: "I am fully determined and I won't give any ground, not to slackers, nor cynics, nor hardliners." Bruno Cautres of the Cevipof political research institute said Mr Macron had "thrown oil on the fire" with his choice of words."With the 'slackers' comment, there are all the ingredients for this to heat up," he said. Mr Macron insisted that the term "slackers" referred to those who had failed to push through reforms in the past "in France and Europe", but many viewed it as an attack on the unemployed or on workers on highly-protected staff contracts. In Bordeaux, protesters chanted: "Macron you're screwed, the slackers are in the streets" while in Paris others carried placards reading: "Slacker on strike". Asked on Monday if he regretted his comment, he replied: "We cannot move forward if we don't tell it like it is." "It's Macron's style," said Jerome Fourquet of pollster IFOP. "He's not going to back down, make apologies. That carries a risk." The president's stated aim is cut unemployment from 9.5 per cent to 7. 5 per cent by 2022. The reforms are seen in Germany as a test of the French president's resolve to "re-found" the eurozone's second-biggest economy, key if he is to win Berlin's backing for broader reforms to the currency union. An opinion poll published on September 1 indicated that voters have mixed views on the reform. Nearly six in 10 said they opposed Macron's labour decrees overall. But when respondents looked at individual measures, most received majority support. Emmanuel Macron – Satisfaction with French presidents in first 100 days Mr Macron's attempts to push through the changes come as France's economic growth is accelerating, unemployment appears to be falling, and the unions are divided. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire told the newspaper Les Echos that voters had chosen Mr Macron "to carry out the reforms that France has shrunk away from for 30 years".



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Majority of people in France now dissatisfied with Macron: poll

Majority of people in France now dissatisfied with Macron: pollBy Sudip Kar-Gupta PARIS (Reuters) – Most French voters are now dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron’s performance, a poll showed on Sunday, a dramatic decline for a president who basked in a landslide election victory less than four months ago. The poll, conducted by Ifop for newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), showed Macron’s “dissatisfaction rating” rising to 57 percent, from 43 percent in July. French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the ruling party was going through a tricky time, but added that displeasing some people was a price worth paying if the government wanted to push through reforms.



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Brigitte Macron 'will not become France's First Lady', after 280,000 people sign petition to block her

Brigitte Macron 'will not become France's First Lady', after 280,000 people sign petition to block herBrigitte Macron, the wife of French president Emmanuel Macron, will not officially be France’s First Lady, according to government officials and reports. The decision flies in the face of Mr Macron's pre-election promise to make an official position for his wife, a move that turned heads particularly as the government is soon to pass a law preventing MPs from hiring family members as assistants, as part of his own anti-corruption drive.  But after 280,000 people signed a petition over the last two weeks in an attempt to block Mrs Macron from having a salary, it appears the government is back-pedalling. French government spokesman Christophe Castaner took to Twitter on Monday night to stress that Mrs Macron would not have an official role.  President Macron had intended to give his wife the official First Lady title, much life Melania Trump Credit:  Michel Euler/AP “Brigitte Macron has a role and responsibilities. We are looking to be transparent and to outline the means she has at her disposal,” he wrote. “No modification of the constitution, no new funding, no salary for Brigitte Macron. Stop the hypocrisy!” Mr Macron, 39, had promised on the campaign trail in March that his wife would have a “real status”. "Paid by the Republic, no. Having a role, a real status, a real capacity to act, yes," Mr Macron said at the time. The presidency has said it will clarify Mrs Macron’s role in the coming days and that there would be no change to the constitution to create a First Lady position, sources told AFP and BFM TV.  The French government plans to make clear exactly how much Mrs Macron will be costing taxpayers.  "The idea is for the French people to know how much this role costs," Aurore Berge, a senior lawmaker from Macron's party, told Europe 1 radio today. Former president Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler, who, like all previous presidents' wives, was not First Lady Credit:  Jacques Brinon/AP Mrs Macron currently has a team of two or three aides, two secretaries, and two security guards.  Former President Francois Hollande’s wife Valerie Trierweiler cost the public €400,000 in 2013, public figures show. Neither Ms Trierweiler or any former wife of France’s past presidents have ever had the official title of First Lady.  Brigitte Trogneux's most elegant looks  



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WikiLeaks releases thousands of hacked Macron campaign emails

WikiLeaks releases thousands of hacked Macron campaign emailsMore than 20,000 emails from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign have been published by WikiLeaks. The whistleblowing website released the trove of leaked emails on Monday as a searchable archive. It comes almost three months after the Macron campaign was hacked on the eve of his election. WikiLeaks, best known for publishing huge stores of US spy agency records, said the emails date between March 2009 and April 24 2017. RELEASE: 21,075 verified searchable emails from the campaign of President Macron #MacronEmails#MacronLeakshttps://t.co/9LlW785eYupic.twitter.com/HIq6nTcdwq— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 31, 2017 The organisation said it had confirmed the 21,075 emails were sent or received by addresses associated with the campaign by checking the “domain keys” used to sign emails. It published a further 50,773 emails it could not verify. In total, the leak includes 71,848 emails, 26,506 attachments and details of 4,493 unique senders. The Macron campaign announced that it had been hacked on May 5, just days before his run-off victory over Marine Le Pen. The campaign has previously blamed Russian interests for the hacking and cybersecurity researchers have linked the attack to a group known as APT28 or Fancy Bears, the group believed to have hacked the US Democrats last year and which is often linked to the Kremlin. Russia has denied responsibility and the head of France’s cybersecurity agency, Guillaume Poupard, has said there is no evidence of Russian interference. On Monday Wikileaks referenced Poupard’s comments when it published the emails.



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Donald Trump says 'smart' and 'strong' Emmanuel Macron 'loves holding my hand' 

Donald Trump says 'smart' and 'strong' Emmanuel Macron 'loves holding my hand' Donald Trump has spoken out on his notorious handshake with French President Emmanuel Macron. The handshake – which went on for a long time – was explained by Mr Trump in an interview with the New York Times. The President commented multiple times that the French President enjoys "holding his hand". He said: "He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand." Mr Trump later repeated this remark, commenting: " People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes." Ramming the point home, he said a third time: "I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand." Donald Trump is famous for his vice-like handshake, which has squashed the digits of other world leaders. However, Mr Macron gave as good as he got, squeezing Donald Trump right back when they met last week.



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Macron puts France top of 'soft power' rankings: survey

Macron puts France top of 'soft power' rankings: surveyFrance has leapfrogged the United States and Britain as the world’s top so-called soft power, helped by the election of President Emmanuel Macron, a study of countries’ non-military global influence showed Tuesday. While France has risen, Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House has seen the US slip from the top last year to third place in the Soft Power 30 study, compiled by PR company Portland Communications and the University of Southern California.



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Macron and Trump mark France's Bastille Day

Macron and Trump mark France's Bastille DayPresident Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump marked France’s national day together on Friday at a military parade which clearly delighted the US leader and showcased warming relations between the two men. Trump was Macron’s guest of honour at national day celebrations in the capital as this year also marked the centenary of the United States entering World War I. “Nothing will ever separate us,” the 39-year-old Macron said from the reviewing stand, adding that Trump’s presence by his side was “the sign of a friendship across the ages” between their countries.



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Trump may reverse decision on climate accord, France's Macron says: JDD

Trump may reverse decision on climate accord, France's Macron says: JDDFrench President Emmanuel Macron said he was hopeful that U.S. President Donald Trump would reverse his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, according to weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) on Sunday. “(Trump) told me that he would try to find a solution in the coming months,” Macron told the paper, referring to meetings the two leaders had this week in Paris. “We spoke in detail about the things that could make him come back to the Paris accord,” he added.



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President Trump Tells Emmanuel Macron 'Something Could Happen' with Paris Climate Agreement

President Trump Tells Emmanuel Macron 'Something Could Happen' with Paris Climate Agreement"We will talk about that over the coming period of time"



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