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Macron tries to connect with the working class on their visit to a rescued factory

The President visits the appliance plant where he staged his electoral duel with Le Pen

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Macron tries to connect with the working class on their visit to a rescued factory

For Emmanuel Macron It was closest thing to a triumphant comeback. The French president visited factory in Amiens yesterday, his hometown, where he lived one of most intense, and perhaps decisive, days of campaign that in spring led to power. Then factory was about to close and he was greeted with Tumults. Everything has changed. The local WN company must take over Whirlpool multinational plant, almost all jobs will be saved, and Macron, accused of being " president of rich", exhibits its most social facet.

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The trip from Macron to Amiens, city of norrn France where he was born, grew up and, being a teenager, met his wife, Brigitte, served for a double purpose. First, back to stage that probably defined last presidential campaign. On April 27, three days after qualifying, along with candidate of extreme right, Marine Le Pen, for second round of elections, centrist candidate programmed a visit to a factory that had become symbol of harmful effects of Glo Beaconing for France. Whirlpool had announced that it would transfer its production to Poland, because re labor is cheaper and labor laws, more lax. They worked 390 people, between fixed and temporary employees, a medium-sized factory.

In a campaign dominated by populist, anti-european and anti-globalization message of Le Pen and or candidates, visit of Macron — Liberal and pro-european — to factory was a risky operation. He met with unions, not company, where workers were camping on strike, but in center of city. Meanwhile, and by surprise, his rival Le Pen appeared in factory amidst acclamations of strikers and stole image of day to Macron. He changed plans and went to place as well. He met a hostile reception but ended up talking for 45 minutes with strikers, exposing his arguments for free trade and globalization, and promised not to forget m if elected president.

In return, five months later, atmosphere was more tidy and less tense. "We've managed to get a company installed here, we're satisfied." "Mr. Macron promised he would come back, and he has," said Patrice Sinoquet, of CFDT Union. It also attended visit of deputy François Ruffin, of France unsubmissive.

Praise of Left

The change was significant. Ruffin, one of leaders of party that heads opposition to president, is no less combative, but this time he held that public authorities had shown "attentive" to factory, according to France Presse. "But do not forget damage that has caused and continues to cause globalization," he said. The factory, sold by a euro to WN, must employ 277 people.

Macron's second goal was to file most liberal angles of its economic policy and get rid of image of being a president that governs only for most favored classes. The use of words like "vague" to refer to opponents of labor reform has not helped him to counteract reputation of elitism.

Labor reform, which flexibilses dismissal, and tax breaks for companies and richest, have been celebrated by employer and coincide fairly with those that would have approved a president of right. The problem with Macron is that its voter base is broader: it goes from moderate right to social democracy. A large part of members of ir party, Republic in progress, are exsocialists, and sooner or later it is likely that y should balance ir recent proposals with more progressive ones. Especially damaging, in terms of image, have been plans to eliminate tax on fortunes of movable property, ie investments, but also luxury products such as yachts, a measure that National Assembly could amend.

The trip to north of country, which included inauguration of a plant of giant commercial Amazon, is an attempt to reconcile with working France, and also to leave Elysée Palace and to retake contact with French on foot.


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