French public unconvinced by Macron's bullish defense

President Emmanuel Macron launched strong televised defense of his first five months 

French public unconvinced by Macron's bullish defense

World Bulletin / News Desk

A day after President Emmanuel Macron's first in-depth televised interview since his election last May, more than six out of ten people who watched the broadcast said they remained unconvinced by his performance, according to a poll by Harris Interactive for RMC radio published on Monday.

Only 39 percent of respondents said they were persuaded by Macron's defense of his administration.

Speaking to French broadcasters TF1 and LCI, Macron defended his five-month record, saying he wanted to erase the stigma of being dubbed a "president of the rich".

He insisted he was a president for all French people, adding that he was doing what he promised during his campaign, referring to adopting controversial labor reforms, scaling back a wealth tax and cutting housing aid.

"I’m not here to manage or reform, I’m here to transform [France]," Macron said. "We’re taking care of the France where things aren’t going well. I‘m doing what I said I would do during the election campaign."

The 39-year-old former investment banker slammed his opponents who accuse him of being distant from the reality of French society and snubbing the middle and working class.

The accusations started with the French leader vowed to face down "slackers" who opposed his labor law reform and more recently saying that workers striking at a car parts factory over job losses should look for work at plant over 140 kilometers (87 miles) away rather than "kicking up a bloody chaos".

Macron defended his choice of words -- considered offensive by some opponents -- arguing he "always opted to tell things as they are and to get close to the truth, so I name things".

“Our political elites have become accustomed to no longer saying things as they are, they became used to a sterilized public discourse," Macron said, insisting he would continue to speak freely. "When I do that, I do not attack or insult the French people."

Macron also called on the public to value success and said his economic reforms would start bearing fruit within one to two years. He said the next step for his government was to overhaul unemployment benefits and training schemes.

"Unemployment is currently falling. You’ll see the full effect of the reforms currently carried out by the government in one to two years," he said.

With his popularity dropping from 60 percent in June to 44 percent this month according to polling by Ifop/Fiducial, Macron's main struggle is no longer political as his La Republique En Marche! (LREM) party secured a parliamentary majority, his task is to rectify his image.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2017, 15:17