GROS MANU: LET THEM EAT CAKE
One year into his presidency, and several news outlets are reporting a sharp dive in Emmanuel Macron's popularity. Officially labelled the "President of the Rich" Macron's popularity plummeted in July to an all-time low of 32% in one poll, and 34% in another. Lately, he came under fire for using public money to commission a grand swimming pool for their garden at the Fort de Brégançon - a 17th century château and summer residence for French presidents dating back to Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s. According to the weekly newspaper - Journal du Dimanche - the castle already has access to a private beach, but Macron and his wife Brigitte want a more secluded environment for them and Brigitte's grandchildren. The above-ground pool, which will be 10 meters long, four metres wide and 1.5 metres deep, will cost €34,000 which is a necessary expense, the president’s office confirmed. But seemingly undeterred by his sliding numbers, the French President headed yesterday to the Palace of Versailles to address a joint session of the two chambers of Parliament. The gathering which cost €286,000 was to seek their approval for a tweak to the constitution, and to launch the President's vision for the second year in office.
"I know that I can’t do everything right,” said the 40-year-old Monday, calling himself “humble but determined.”
To his critics, however, nothing screams" humble" more than the Palace of Versailles. He is seen as a Republican monarch so happy with his achievements, yet so out of touch with the street, that he fails to acknowledge his dwindling reputation. Following an earlier scandal reportedly of €26,000 splashed out on three months of presidential makeup, the problem with Macron seems that he has a tendency to spend public money freely on luxurious items for himself and his family. There is a pattern of lavish overspending, like the €500,000 used to replace the tableware at the Elysée presidential palace, according to the weekly satirical and investigative newspaper Le Canard Enchainé. The high cost was because an artist was commissioned to individually decorate each set of dishes. For now, it seems, Macron's political standing is safe. There are no national elections until the next European parliament elections in May 2019, and his insurgent movement maintains a solid majority in parliament. In a push to counteract these accusations, Emmanuel Macron will be announcing a "Poverty Plan" in September that will hopefully tackle the everyday issues faced by low-income ordinary people (or plebs) in France.