December 10, 2018

THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT: Protests Threaten Macron’s Campaign to Remake France.

The Macron government deployed the full weight of France’s security apparatus on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to contain a movement that authorities said mobilized 136,000 protesters. They included droves of rioters who waged pitched battles with police in the heart of the French capital and other major cities, lighting fires, smashing storefronts and leading to 135 injuries and more than 1,000 arrests.

The weekend violence left Mr. Macron cornered like at no other time in his presidency. Unable to control protesters through security measures, Mr. Macron is now facing calls to placate the masses by reversing course on his signature agenda: making France more economically competitive through sweeping changes to its labor market, taxes, public spending and pension system.

The 40-year-old former investment banker is scheduled to address the nation on Monday evening, officials said. Many French are calling for a shift in both policy and tone that discards the top-down leadership style that has marked his first year-and-a-half in office.

“Get the hell out of my way!” the wise man once said.

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