Storm awaits Macron after uneasy summer calm

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The months following September’s rentrée, when millions return from holidays, will test the resolve of French President Emmanuel Macron, who came to power last year on a pledge to uproot his country’s traditions of work and exclusion and now faces his first major confrontations with public anger and perceptions of entrenched privilege.

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A weird sort of science-fiction calm envelopes the cities of France every August. Half the shop windows are shuttered, many restaurants and theatres are dark, every library and government office is closed for the month. The sleepy streets and terrasses look emptier, yet more polychromatic. Most of the more fortunately employed, generally lighter-skinned citizens have left for a month on the beaches, leaving the care of the country and the tourists to the grandchildren of the colonies, reports The Globe and Mail.