Macron's high-risk spring as he faces worker discontent


This week is the start of a critical period in Emmanuel Macron's presidency. Workers from the rail industry, Air France and the supermarket chain Carrefour have been taking industrial action while students have held sit-ins at a number of universities. The government says that these various actions with their different causes show an irrational fear of the “new world” that is dawning. In fact, argues Hubert Huertas, these protests stem from a weariness with years of talk about the need for austerity and reform - and they could yet threaten the presidency's power.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

What trade unionists call a “convergence of struggles” does not always come from where you might expect. Many people have been looking in the rear-view mirror of history as if the tumultuous events of May 1968 – whose anniversary we will soon be marking – could reproduce themselves 50 years later. But the events and industrial action of today are not a repeat of past protests but the potential culmination of a lengthy sequence of events.