French President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to appease the French people, who have largely soured on his rule less than one year after his historic victory in France's 2017 presidential vote, have done little to lift his abysmal popularity ratings, according to the latest polls.
Despite promising to blow out the French budget deficit to deliver tax cuts and more public services to the people and cancelling controversial gas tax hikes (among other populist measures being pushed by Macron and senior officials within his administration), a poll found that roughly 75% of French people disapprove of the president, putting his popularity on par with his extremely unpopular socialist predecessor, Francois Hollande, who memorably opted not to run for a second term after abandoning his socialist principles to push for market-friendly reforms.
While Macron tried to portray his "En Marche" movement as fundamentally populist, he has endured criticisms that he is a "president for the rich" by refusing to raise wealth taxes. The destructive "Yellow Vest" protests, which broke out back in November amid widespread outrage over the proposed gas tax hikes, led to the sacking of Macron's capital city - and cities across the country - as well as a handful of deaths. Instead of listening to the people, Macron has sought to instead blame the protests on Russia, once again demonstrating just how out of touch he is with the people he governs.
Circling back to the latest polls, RT pointed out that Macron's low approval ratings aren't only a factor of his unpopularity with working class French people, but middle- and upper-class French dislike him at similarly high rates.
Just 25 percent of the people surveyed by Odoxa and Dentsu Consulting for France Info and Le Figaro said they were happy with the way the government is running the protest-plagued country, while 75 percent disapprove of Macron and the ministers in his cabinet.
This indicates a dramatic loss of popularity for Macron compared to the 59 percent of unhappy citizens in April 2018, according to France Info. The current poll included 1,004 people across the country and was carried out in early January.
What's more, people are equally dissatisfied with senior members of Macron's administration.
People are equally dissatisfied with a number of key government officials, including Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, with 54 and 53 percent negative ratings respectively.
Yellow Vest protesters – so called due to the distinctive high-visibility jackets they wear – launched massive rallies across the country in November of last year. At first, the rallies targeted a hike in fuel prices proposed by Macron’s government, which was later dropped in the wake of almost war-like battles between angry protesters and police.
The low poll numbers come as French police have arrested one of the protest leaders, Eric Drouet, late on Wednesday, triggering accusations of "dictatorship" among the Yellow Vest movements supporters.
But we imagine this latest drama is also Putin's fault.