Giscard and Macron: the worrying political similarities


The death was announced late on Wednesday December 2nd 2020 of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, aged 94, who was president of France from 1974 to 1981. Here Mediapart's François Bonnet compares Giscard's term of office with the current presidency of Emmanuel Macron. He argues that in a provisional assessment of their achievements the record of the present incumbent of the Élysée does not compare well with his predecessor, especially on social issues. However, there are many similarities between the two men and their presidencies, including the way they came to power and, most ominously, their subsequent slide towards more repressive policies.

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Emmanuel Macron is the secret political son of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing or VGE as he was widely known. Indeed, the homage that President Macron paid to his predecessor, who was president of France from 1974 to 1981 and whose death at the age of 94 was announced on December 2nd, was not just pure rhetoric. “His seven-year term of office transformed France,” said Macron. “The direction that he gave France still guides our way.” Meanwhile government minister Marc Fesneau, of the centrist MoDem party, described VGE as “a legacy and an ideal”.