Emmanuel Macron hosted a meeting of major foreign investors from Wall Street and the tech industry this week in advance of the Davos conference. The primary topic he sought to address was the concerns of investors over his failure to fully implement the globalist reforms he promised while running for office, including making France a better place to do business for foreign investors. Those reforms wound up angering poor and working-class citizens to the point that the yellow vest rioters were setting Paris on fire.
Macron chose an odd analogy to drive his point home. He summoned up the image of the French revolution and Louis XVI’s sudden demise at the hands of the revolutionary army. The real irony is that he made these remarks precisely 226 years to the day after Louis suddenly became shorter by the height of his head. (Reuters)
President Emmanuel Macron told dozens of the world’s most powerful executives on Monday that he would not follow the path of guillotined French royals and would continue to reform the French economy despite a sometimes violent popular revolt.
For the second year running, Macron hosted corporate A-listers like Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel and JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon at a pre-Davos dinner at Versailles.
Exactly 226 years after the decapitation of Louis XVI, who failed to plug the crown’s dismal finances and quell popular discontent over a sclerotic feudal society, Macron started his speech by invoking the king and his wife Marie-Antoinette.
“If they met such an end, it is because they had given up on reforming,” Macron told the guests, according to his office.
Perhaps Macron shouldn’t be joking about this subject so casually. Does anyone remember this little scene from the streets of Paris last month?
At this point, Macron seems to be dwelling in some sort of an alternate reality. He knows why his reforms were rejected by the public and went so far as to flatly state it to the attendees of his meeting. He told them that the yellow vest protests were happening in response to “middle-class angst over globalization,” comparing the unrest to Brexit and the resurgence of right-wing nationalism in Itlay, Germany and other European countries.
Hello? Can he hear himself speaking? Of course that’s what the peasants are revolting over. Corporate profits may be up and his plans to eliminate fossil fuels are a big hit on the far left, but wages were unable to keep pace with the skyrocketing costs and higher taxes that his “reform” plan brought about. When the people can’t put food on the table in the final days before payday they’re going to get testy. And that’s when the guillotines begin appearing in the public square.
Oddly, Macron pledged to these corporate investors that he still planned to push all of his reforms through. How he plans to do that remains a mystery since he’s already caved on virtually all of the protesters’ demands and rolled back the initial reforms. Perhaps he’s waiting until he can be fitted for an iron collar to protect his neck.
We’ll close with an old musical favorite which Macron might find of use this month.