Dominique Moisi on the Future of Macron’s Presidency

After weeks of furious and sometimes violent protests across France, President Macron makes a major concession and suspends his controversial fuel tax hikes. Dominique Moïsi, special advisor at the Institut Montaigne, discusses the future of Macron’s presidency amid mounting anger amongst his citizens.

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MOISI: When I hear him speaking the way he did, I know why I voted twice for him in 2017. He was my candidate. I was convinced France needed a bold, courageous, intelligent, charismatic person. And now, we are wondering to ourselves — I mean, is he paying the price for all the previous president that didn’t do their job and that’s simply created an increase in the cap that existed between the people and its elite. What shall I say? I think, maybe we collectively have underestimated the despair, the suffering, the anger of the French and therefore, the difficulties to reform the country. And maybe we have overestimated the ability of Macron to triumph of all these challenges. He is gifted, he’s intelligent, he’s courageous, he’s charismatic, but was he mature enough to feel what was happening in his own country? Wasn’t he too far, too aloof in his palace surrounded by young technocrats who had no real touch with the reality of the country down below?

AMANPOUR: But, you said, “Is he also paying for the mistakes and the failures of previous presidents not to address the vital necessity of a structural reform at home?” And so, my question to you then is, is it fair to hold him to account like this? If he doesn’t do it, who will do it and how will it be done? How should it be done?

MOISI: No, it’s unfair. He is largely paying for the failures of other president to confront the problem or their escapades, their willingness not to face the issues. But we have to realize what’s happening in France right now, it is happening in the streets of Paris, in the streets of villages and cities around France, but it has a major impact on the future of Europe. In a few months from now there will be European elections, and France was supposed to be the carrier of hope and European progress. What happens if it’s no longer, if the president is incapacitated to carry that message?

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Dominique Moisi, Special Adviser, Institut Montaigne; and Louise Arbour, U.N. Special Representative for International Migration. Michel Martin speaks with Sharon Cooper, Sandra Bland’s sister, and Kate Davis, co-director of the film “Say Her Name.”