“… Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present,” French philosopher, author and journalist Albert Camus (1913-1960).
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi
The ‘Yellow Vest’ Movement in France continues to pose a threat to public order, politics and security. These vests changed the history of French President Emmanuel Macron. The implementation of what he described as ‘reforms’ negatively affected the daily cost of living of the poor and low income earners in France.
France is considered one of the world leading countries. This means it has weight in world order, so its issues attract global attention in various fields.
Since the ‘Yellow Vest’ Movement started, the French government has been dealing with it in different ways – sometimes harshly and diplomatically at other times.
The presence of security and its apparatus along the famous avenue – Champs-Élysées – was unusual, especially in terms of maintaining public order, as such a scenario is typical during a military parade to celebrate a historic event which ends with a march to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The reforms that President Macron introduced seem to foster the notion “rich continue to get richer and poor continue to get poorer.”
As it appears, these reforms did not take into consideration the ordinary French people who sometimes pay 48 percent tax. This could have eluded Macron, intentionally or not.
Once the prime minister of Holland was asked about his opinion on President Macron, he said: “He is not the president of the wealthy, he is the president of the wealthiest.”
Macron’s renouncement of some of his reforms through his government indicates that this step was taken after realizing the timing of reforms was not suitable for the nation. The renouncement was appropriate and in the interest of the government, before the people.
Rectifying a mistake is the main reason behind reforms, yet the vest movement continued to demand for more from Macron and his government.
Some analysts and observers might have forgotten the fact that the people challenging Macron are not refugees or naturalized citizens. Those behind the yellow vests and in the front line are natural-born French citizens.
Every government has errors and flaws. This is natural, but the solution always comes from the intellectuals and the wise keen on amending errors in a manner that will restore balance on political or social ground.
The French president failed to gauge the situation even after the historic event last month (November) when a French colony – New Caledonia – had a referendum in which the majority voted to remain under France.
France is a major country with a strong economy, so it is more capable of dealing with its affairs than many other countries. It has global influence in almost all aspects. All that France has to do is properly manage the Yellow Vest Movement and everything will return to its proper course.
Far right movements are on the rise not only in France or Europe, but in the entire world. This is the result of exploiting public emotions based on ethnicity, race and even wealth. This trend is currently succeeding and it might continue to succeed if the matter is not dealt with properly.
So far, the French government’s reactions can be categorized as rational and in the interest of the public. The recent speech of President Macron managed to calm public anger which erupted because of the petrol price hike and other reforms deemed unreasonable and even harmful to the ordinary citizen. Without a doubt, Macron can do better. We hope to see people back to the Champs-Élysées Avenue, enjoying French coffee in one of its cafés.
Twitter @ Alzmi1969.com