Macron's Reforms Aren't Working Yet
French President Emmanuel Macron was elected in part because he promised the French public that he would bring reforms to the French economy. His stated goal was to reduce regulations and free up the French labor market so that more businesses would want to relocate to France. The goal was to reduce the very high rate of unemployment that continues to plague the nation.
So far, the reform agenda of President Macron has not shown the desired results within the economy of France. President Macron has introduced new laws that make it easier to hire and fire workers. He has also introduced some reforms to reduce the power of the public sector labor unions. However, there has been no appreciable lowering of the unemployment rate.
For a time last spring, it seemed as if the unemployment rate was beginning to take a small downward trend. However, the unemployment rate has started to rise again during the summer months.
What has to be the most disappointing news for the economic agenda of Mr. Macron is the GDP numbers for the latest quarter that were just introduced. The GDP growth last quarter was an anemic 0.2 percent.
President Macron believed that when Brexit was a reality in the UK, many of the industries and financial institutions in the UK would want to leave and keep their headquarters within the European Union. The hope was to attract many of these businesses to France. This has not yet happened on a large scale.
Right now, President Macron has a 40 percent approval rating. He is facing a great deal of opposition from the French Republican Party which is the main opposition on the right. They are highly critical of the fact that France remains one of the most highly-taxed nations in Europe.
President Macron still has three years in his term to turn the economy around and institute reforms. Most observers of French politics believe that if he cannot make a difference soon, his election to a second term is gravely in doubt.
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