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France

Macron’s answer: Threats and bread crumbs

Statement by NPA

Wednesday 12 December 2018, by NPA

WE WEREN’T expecting much, as the ministers had been peppering the media for two days...and we were indeed not disappointed. However, Macron’s speech tonight revealed the nature of his policy, even as it falters against the movement of “yellow vests.”

First, it demonstrated that his method is based on brutality. That Macron’s speech begins with the question of “violence” won’t be surprising. “Calm and the republican order...must reign” — but at what price? From yellow vests to high school students, all teargassed, all beaten, and Macron simply promises that it will continue.

A mass "yellow vest" demonstration in Marseille, France A mass "yellow vest" demonstration in Marseille, France

Then there is always the same social contempt. “I do not forget that there is anger, an indignation — many French people can share it,” he says, adding without cracking a smile that he finds their anger “just in many ways.” Who is he trying to kid? He is an agent of the rich, who wants now to make us believe in his empathy towards the most downtrodden?

Finally, he offers a catalogue of bread crumbs, followed by a lot of hot air: This is the extent of wealth redistribution flavoring the Macronist sauce. He serves up a musty dish that former Socialist Party President François Hollande offered not long ago in his “state of economic and social emergency.”

Most of the measures presented by Macron show that the president knows how to be generous...with public money, and without ever touching capital, the money of the richest.

The wages of workers receiving minimum wage will increase by 100 euros per month? The capitalists reassure themselves, it will cost them nothing since it will only recalculate full-time hours. What about overtime? Yes, without taxes or social security contributions...Even worse than former conservative president Sarkozy! What about an end-of-year bonus for employees? Sure, but at the discretion of the bosses.

And of course, we aren’t talking about a restoration of a recent small tax on the rich, are we? No, because “going back would weaken us”...The reality is that Macron’s whole policy will push us back! In the end, only retirees who earn less than 2,000 euros per month will be happy to see the unjust rise in their taxes suffered this year finally canceled. All this struggle for this?

After this speech that said nothing, the movement of yellow vests will continue, joined by the youth who know there will be more days of mobilization. Act Five of our movement is gearing up for next weekend, and all discontent must come together then.

The time is now for a general mobilization, for a blockage of the country, including a strike. Faced with this deep movement against the high cost of living, Macron must give in: put an end to unjust taxes, make the rich pay, increase wages and incomes. We can roll them back.

Montreuil Monday 10 December 2018

Translated by socialistworker.org.