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French President Emmanuel Macron, who is pushing through this month with labor reforms, has not waited for the street to react before attacking another elephant in the closet: the national train company, SNCF.

In the cross-hairs are France’s “special regimes”— certain public sectors where employees have benefits which go far beyond what normal public and private employees enjoy. The first to go, as soon as July 1, 2018, according to the daily Le Monde, will be the SNCF’s generous retirement program which is held responsible in great part for the monopoly’s 44 billion euro debt.

 

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President Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has fallen a record 24 points in two months. Only 40% of those polled say they are satisfied with the country’s youngest ever president, according to an Ifop poll published in the weekly Journal du Dimanche. Fifty-seven percent said they are dissatisfied with the job he is doing.

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French President Emmanuel Macron has set up an anti-terrorist ‘Task Force’ which, once approved by parliament, sets the foundations for a police state. The Task Force will be directly under the control of the president with the power to set house arrest, day and night searches without warrant, shutting down prayer rooms and putting people in preventive detention with no judicial oversight. 

UnknownThe French presidential elections to be held in two-rounds on April 23 and May 7 are unlike any France has seen since the Fifth Republic Constitution went into effect in 1959. And if polls are right, the winner of the second round will have a hostile majority in Parliament. France may well become ungovernable.  If France slips into anarchy, it could well take the European Union down with it.

Paris, Feb. 21: One-and-a-half million fewer tourists visited the Paris region last year and the November 2015 terrorist attacks are being blamed. Hotel reservations in the French capital were down nearly nine percent, according to a report released Tuesday by The Regional Tourism Committee.

A Center for the deradicalization of Muslim extremists set up in Central France last September is empty. The last man to be “treated” at the chateau of Pontourny, in Beaumont-en-Véron, left on February 8.  Although France has listed thousands as “radicalized” in the police data banks, there were never more than six or seven at any given time and only nine people ever volunteered for the center which can house up to 30.

images-1French conservative presidential candidate, François Fillon, said on Monday at a Paris press conference that he will not stand down despite an investigation by magistrates on suspicions of corruption.

After nearly two weeks of blistering attacks for allegedly using taxpayer money to pay his wife €830,000 for a fictitious parliamentary assistant’s job, the former Premier struck back, saying his wife was paid for real work. He did however admit that, although it is a common and legal practice for parliamentarians to hire family members, it was an error.