French government hopes for the best but fears the worst amid growing social unrest


President Emmanuel Macron's government is facing a potentially difficult week, haunted by the fear that the ongoing petrol crisis could lead to a wider social crisis. On Sunday the leftwing opposition staged a protest against the cost of living. Then on Tuesday a number of trade unions have called a day of national strikes over pay and the right to take industrial action. Ilyes Ramdani takes the temperature ahead of what could be a tumultuous few days in French politics.

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When it comes to running the French state, the key factor that all governments look at is the social mood. “Will people take to the streets?” was the worried question recently of one minister who was looking ahead to a potentially difficult autumn. Four years after the massive protests of the 'yellow vest' movement, the government now once again fears being caught up in social unrest, with the strike movement in the country's oil refineries still hitting motorists, who have been forced to join huge queues or go without fuel altogether.