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In Versailles, Macron vows to reform to avoid king's fate

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In Versailles, Macron vows to reform to avoid king's fate

By Jean-Baptiste Vey and Michel Rose

 

2019-01-22T023234Z_3_LYNXNPEF0K0WU_RTROPTP_4_FRANCE-MACRON-ARMY.JPG

French President Emmanuel Macron reacts after he delivered his new year wishes to the military during a ceremony on the Toulouse-Francazal airbase in Toulouse, France, January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

 

VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron told dozens of the world's most powerful executives on Monday that he would not follow the path of guillotined French royals and would continue to reform the French economy despite a sometimes violent popular revolt.

 

For the second year running, Macron hosted corporate A-listers like Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Snapchat's Evan Spiegel and JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon at a pre-Davos dinner at Versailles.

 

Exactly 226 years after the decapitation of Louis XVI, who failed to plug the crown's dismal finances and quell popular discontent over a sclerotic feudal society, Macron started his speech by invoking the king and his wife Marie-Antoinette.

 

"If they met such an end, it is because they had given up on reforming," Macron told the guests, according to his office.

 

His office said earlier that foreign companies including medical products company Microport, Mars, Procter & Gamble, Cisco and others would announce investments in France totaling more than 600 million euros.

 

The dinner was an opportunity to reassure investors of Macron's resolve to reform the economy after images of protesters angry at his policies attacking public monuments, boutiques, banks and riot police were beamed around the world.

 

"There are questions about the protests' magnitude, about the violence, because these images are shocking for foreigners," a source at Macron's office said before the summit.

 

"Last year, the summit was in a totally different dynamic, it was all about 'France is back'. Here we're in a tougher part of the mandate domestically and that requires more explanations," the source added.

 

On Monday, Macron told the business leaders the "yellow vest" movement was part of a bigger picture of middle-class angst over globalization that gave rise to Brexit in Britain, as well as the rise of populist parties in Germany or Italy.

 

"The solution to the crisis is not to roll back what we have done in the past 18 months," he said.

 

Macron was elected in May 2017 against a far-right candidate on a promise to create jobs and drive growth by cutting corporate taxes, easing France's rigid labor regulations, and developing a more skilled labor force.

 

He began making good on those campaign pledges in a reform blitz during the first 18 months of his presidency that has impressed investors but infuriated low-paid workers, who feel he favors big business and is indifferent to their struggle to make ends meet.

 

Over the past two months, that popular anger has been vented at protests across France. The unrest has convulsed Macron and his government and forced costly concessions.

 

Macron is not attending the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, his office says, so that he can deal with quelling the yellow vest uprising.

 

Below are some of the key investment pledges announced on Monday:

* Microport: 350 million euros over five years to expand a Research & Development center.

* Mars: 120 million euros invested in eight different sites including the Haguenau plant where M&Ms are produced.

* Procter & Gamble: 50 million euro investment in a new detergent production line at its Amiens plant.

* Transpod: 20 million euro investment to finance a 3-km (1.9-mile) hyperloop test line.

 

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Reuters Television; Writing by Richard Lough and Michel Rose; Editing by Catherine Evans and Sandra Maler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-22

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He represents the folks who financed the French revolution. So he's probably safe.

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The ‘reform’ that is desired is Macron’s  removal from office. If he were not such arrogant fool, that would be his first ‘reform’. 

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So he likens himself to the King of France looking to make reforms so he can escape the fate that befell the King. Interesting his view of himself. :whistling:

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Macron will not survive the next French election. His current support is supposedly only 20% and the yellow vest protest and its effect on the economy, together with his perceived arrogance, will ensure his eventual downfall. He sees himself as the EU's natural successor to Merkel's leadership of that organisation, but is deluded.

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2 hours ago, canuckamuck said:

He represents the folks who financed the French revolution. So he's probably safe.

A very good observation. 

 

Louis XV1..upset the aristocracy,then the army but most especially he really annoyed the bankers..Neckar and Co..

 

The bankers are calling the shots now.

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Macron is the only one to stand up against a coalition of coward french populists ranking from the far-right to the far-left - non mentioning their abyssal incompetence of  another age

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The way things are going, Macron and Merkel are going to need that EU army - if only to keep the revolting peasants in their place.

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