Emmanuel Macron in My Dreams
Monday night I dreamt about Emmanuel Macron…all night long, or so it seemed. I woke briefly, realizing it was a dream, went back to sleep and continued the dream, experiencing a relationship I had developed with him overnight.
He was my buddy in the dream and I led him by the hand to discover the ills of the system in France and how some of our more capitalistic ideas might help him out of his dilemma. When I woke to an alarm, having to leave early in the morning for a train to Brittany (for the signing of an “Acte de Vente” on a client’s new home in Dinan), I chuckled about my funny dream, then turned on the TV to France 24 immediately falling on a report about how Macron has lost approval rating points. Perhaps it’s because of his being in the news that I dreamt about him (?), but it’s rare for me to remember my dreams and thought this particularly poignant.
According to the media, his approval ratings have hit an all time low at 36% and is the worst drop in popularity in 20 years for any president, even worse than François Hollande. I was shocked. I knew that what he set out to accomplish would be difficult, but still was not expecting such a disapproval when he won the election by a landslide. Is the press making too much of it, or is that because they are as shocked as I am? We all knew that the reforms he proposed would be tough to swallow by most of the French, but they did vote him in. Didn’t they know what to expect? Why were the voters so naive?
He was quoted by BFM TV to say: “Yes, we are encountering difficulties, but you cannot just spend your time only looking at polls when you’re in government. We are there to transform the country. Our country needs us to take risks, and we are taking risks.”
Personally I like his attitude. It means that getting re-elected isn’t what running a country is all about. Seems to me that he’s standing by what he believes in and that is to be respected. We Americans would like to see more of that from our own legislators in the U.S. who would rather do what they need to do just in order to win the mid-term elections than do what is right: e.g. vote FOR affordable health care for all U.S. residents.
Sure, Macron invited Donald Trump to Paris and I wasn’t happy about that, but he’s trying to develop good relationships with the movers and shakers in the world (including Vladimir Putin), and with this invitation, it showed he had an upper hand. In July he was touted as leading the world in “soft power” having overtaken both the U.S. and Britain. That’s big news.
Of course, the French didn’t like his 26,000€ expense on make-up his first 100 days in office! LOL! Our own Mr. Trump is expected to cost the U.S. one billion dollars to keep him in the style to which he is accustomed! So, what’s 26,000€ when you compare it with one billion dollars? As my mother would say: “bupkis” (Yiddish for goat or sheep droppings, meaning absolutely nothing; nothing of value, significance, or substance).
I’ve read a dozen articles in English-language media about his decline in popularity, but I am personally not influenced or derailed to think ill of my “friend” about whom I dreamt. With every bad story I hear about how a business has failed thanks to the French tangled-up mess of labor laws and anti-entrepreneurial regulations, Mr. Macron gives me hope that something positive will happen to change that. I am also hoping that the young French who left for greener pastures, such as England, Canada, the U.S., etc., in order to realize their own dreams easier than might be possible in France, will now see it’s more possible in their home country, thanks to Macron, and want to return. We need a shot in the arm like that to get the reforms really taking hold.
Have you heard the bad news that American-owned Club Rayé has bitten the dust, all thanks to such difficulties? Owner and successful entrepreneur Kein Cross, who poured millions of dollars into making his night club a success, left with an empty bank account, having to displace a dozen employees, and after all was said and done, the relief that he’d never have to set foot in France again after an ordeal he shouldn’t have had to live through. (Don’t bother going to the website (clubraye.com); it’s not there anymore.)
He’s not the only American to have battled the “giant.” Did you read Craig Carlson’s “Pancakes in Paris?” His story will give you a rough idea of what it’s like to be in business in France. Critic Heather Stimmler-Hall, editor of the “Secrets of Paris” newsletter had this to say:
“Anyone who fantasizes about selling everything and moving to France should read this refreshingly honest memoir about what it really takes to operate a successful business in Paris. The real takeaway is how Craig’s love for his adopted city and its people is stronger than ever despite — or perhaps because of — the Kafkaesque ordeal he went through to make his dreams come true here.”
Macron’s labor reform visions are about to be unveiled tomorrow and you can bet the unions are on pins and needles. His goal is to make labor more flexible (hiring and firing) while reducing unemployment, now at nine per cent. It’s a sensitive issue and this is a big test for him. Odds are against him, since there are many more workers than management and ultimately it ends up a numbers game…but I’m crossing my fingers that he won’t care about his ratings and just do what he knows he must do.
In the end, they will thank him, and so will we.
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(at Club Rayé)
P.S. Someone needs to keep Henri-le-Cactus company this coming October and I’m willing to make you a deal you can’t refuse to be a guest at Le Matisse. Book your stay now for one week or more, and I’ll take a huge chunk off the usual price. Count your nights at 125€ each if you stay 7 nights or more, or 75€ a night if you stay one month (30 days) or more! To book your stay, email [email protected]