The Macron Method exposed as social protests continue


On Monday April 9th France's National Assembly is due to begin examining the government's proposed legislation for a “new railway agreement”. Yet the consultations with the unions about this new pact are still going on. Those unions - whose members began the latest round of two-day rail strikes on Sunday April 8th - are now dismissing the talks with the government as a “farce” and intend to step up their action. Their aim is to expose what they see as a deliberate method employed by President Emmanuel Macron's government: one of talking but not saying anything and of listening without hearing. Ellen Salvi examines the workings of the Macron Method.

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The problem with blatant ploys is that they always end up getting noticed. The method that underpins President Emmanuel Macron's approach to reforms, which has allowed him to roll out his policies with no real resistance for nearly a year, has now been exposed as a result of the unions' action against planned reforms to the national railway the SNCF. Yes, the government has continued to hold lots of meetings, and tries to insist, as transport minister Élisabeth Borne did in Le Parisien, that “no one can understand why the rail unions are taking part in a long and detrimental strike while we're half way in the consultations and the government is taking part in dialogue”. But the technique is no longer having the same effect.