The pace of Macron’s willingness to confront railways and pension reform evidences other Thatcherite achievements of liberalizing French labor markets, rescinding wealth taxes while implementing a flat tax on financial income. Now he’s on to confronting defiant jobs-for-life for new railway recruits. The man is winning, but the reform movement has yet to openly defeat anticipated strikes that will paralyze Paris and most of France.
France currently has a budget surplus; the first since 1974. Did I mention that team Macron tightened parliamentary rules on the hiring of relatives; and what of his achievement to reduce the number of deputies reigning in the National Assembly.
The material cause for his success is parliamentary majorities whose opposition remains enfeebled by success. Even still, Macron is polling at a very high disapproval rate of 40%. The source of French discontent are those on fixed income and moribund trade union leaders.
Here’s where France is: prostrate with gaze inward. If Macron is a true Thatcherite leader his handling of the impending railway strikes will define whether or not the 5th Republic lives. For the railways may not be the defining moment for Gallic reform, but how he handles this moment will define his presidency and tenure.