The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Subtle change in Macron's attitude towards Russia


On January 31, major trade unions in France launched a general strike against the reform of raising the retirement age for the second day. Whether it is the official figure of 1.27 million or the trade union figure of 2.8 million, the number of demonstrators on the streets of major cities in France is also higher than that of the United States.

On January 31, major trade unions in France launched a general strike against the reform of raising the retirement age for the second day.

Whether it is the official figure of 1.27 million or the trade union figure of 2.8 million, the number of demonstrators on the streets of major cities in France is also higher than that of the first day of strikes on the 19th.

Polls show that more than 60% of French people oppose the pension reform, several percentage points higher than two weeks ago, and the popularity of President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has also fallen.

Under the external worries of the Russia-Ukraine War, why did Macron choose to open the "Pandora's Box" of "retirement reform" at this time to avoid internal troubles?

Macron is well aware of the difficulty of the French retirement reform.

As early as 2019, Macron had launched another reform plan, trying to unify France's 42 retirement systems into a single scoring system, which attracted large-scale demonstrations not seen since 1968.

In the end, the outbreak of the new crown epidemic gave Macron the next step to "suspend reform".

More than three years later, Macron's new retirement reform has also lost its previous ambition. It is only to gradually raise the minimum retirement age in France from 62 to 64 in order to prevent pensions from being ineffective under the general trend of aging. To continue, there is no ambition to abolish the retirement protection of various industries left over from history across the board.

On January 31, the streets of Paris were full of anti-retirement reform demonstrators.


However, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is definitely not the time to forcefully push forward the reform of the retirement system.

Although the price of natural gas in Europe at the moment has fallen to a low level in nearly a year and a half, inflationary pressures in France have not been eliminated. In December, the core inflation rate excluding food and energy reached 5.4%, which has not been seen in many years. signs of proliferation.

At the same time, France's household energy price increase this year will also rise to 15% from the 4% it had already set before the Russo-Ukraine war.

These livelihood issues are already unfavorable to those in power, and they were also issues that Macron was attacked by far-right opponent Marine Le Pen during the presidential election last year.

From the perspective of instrumental rationality, even if Macron wants to regain his enthusiasm for reform after the epidemic, it should wait until the future of the Russia-Ukraine war is clear.

At this time, Macron has shifted his ruling focus to the country, which may reflect a subtle change in his attitude towards the Russia-Ukraine war.

Before the outbreak of the war and in the first half year of the war, Macron always gave people the impression of being pro-Russian. In addition to telegraphing with Putin from time to time, he also said that he should not "humiliate" Russia and give Putin a "step down". The speech sparked major controversy.

But it is worth noting that, according to the press release of the Elysee Palace, Macron has not spoken to Putin on the phone since September 11 last year, and he has continued to communicate closely with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It reflects that Macron has given up the goal of mediating the situation between Russia and Ukraine under the background that Putin does not intend to cease the war.

On January 22, German Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron held a cabinet meeting between the two countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the friendly agreement between Germany and France.


Entering this year, Macron has taken the lead in increasing the momentum of military aid.

On January 4, when all countries were pressuring Germany and the United States to export main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine to help Ukraine counterattack, Macron joined hands with Germany and the United States to export "Infantry Fighting Vehicles" (IFVs). It was the first to announce that France was exporting "light tanks", and it was deliberately released one day in advance of the leaders of Germany and the United States.

The French and foreign media widely interpreted this as a pressure on Germany, which was reluctant to export the "Leopard 2" main battle tank at that time.

On January 25th, Germany and the United States finally decided to export main battle tanks to Ukraine. Ukraine, of course, "follow the snake with the stick" and asked Western countries to further provide NATO standard fighter jets, such as the F-16.

Previously, the Netherlands had first claimed to have an "open attitude" towards the "export of F-16s to Ukraine". Later, the Ukrainian side even claimed to have received positive signals about the export of F-16s from Poland.

However, neither German Chancellor Olaf Scholz nor US President Joe Biden has denied the possibility of exporting fighter jets to Ukraine.

However, after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on January 30, Macron publicly stated that he "does not rule out" exporting fighter jets to Ukraine. Battle tank momentum.

On January 30, Macron and Rutte met with reporters after meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.


If these signs really represent a change in Macron's attitude towards the Russia-Ukraine war, it will be easier to understand his actions of turning the focus back to the country and pushing the retirement reform.

At present, both Russia and Ukraine have no intention of stopping the war, and are even preparing to launch large-scale offensives in the short term. People can't see when the war will end.

And under the premise that Putin's nuclear escalation threat is probably just a "paper tiger", it seems that all the West can do is to continue to support Ukraine until Russia feels that it can no longer fight.

Since the end of the war is hopeless and the overall situation will not change drastically, this constitutes an opportunity for Macron to return his attention to the country.

On the contrary, when the Russo-Ukraine war ends in the future, Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, Ukraine’s reconstruction, and the prosecution of war crimes will become the top priorities in Europe. At that time, it may be more difficult for Macron to continue his domestic reforms independently than today.

It is also understandable that Macron has turned to aid Ukraine many times this year.

Macron has always been obsessed with the ideal of European military independence, but his "little trial" of anti-terrorism in West Africa has almost completely failed in recent years. After the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War, Europe itself has become a testing ground for European military strength. Ukraine's resistance to Russia has become the "spirit of the times," and some commentators even believe that many EU politicians are competing to see who is more determined to aid Ukraine.

Here, the country headed by Poland that is tough on Russia automatically becomes the leader.

Since the general trend of resistance against Russia in Europe is hard to change, from Macron's point of view, when the future of the war is uncertain, it is of course better to go forward than against the current.

Open the French Pandora's box Macron's "political gamble" and then push for retirement reforms German main battle tanks "broken trust" Europe?

South Korea may become the biggest winner in the Russo-Ukrainian war|Scholz lost his way after Germany was pressured to export tanks to Merkel?

Russia-Ukraine War|Minister of Defense Involved in "Egg Gate" Corruption Storm Ukraine's Achilles' heel has not been removed

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2023-02-01

You may like

News/Politics 2023-02-01T10:55:59.929Z
News/Politics 2023-01-29T11:00:28.531Z

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-06-01T09:01:43.527Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.