Macron appeals to French exceptionalism as 40th birthday looms

09:54 • 18.12.17



French President Emmanuel Macron sought to appeal to the French idea of their country as exceptional and iconoclastic in his second major television interview since taking office, saying that their decision to elect him distinguishes them in a turbulent world, Bloomberg reports.


“The role that France has today is a role that French people have chosen to give it. By choosing in May to elect a 39-year-old president, with no political party, that no one knew of, who came out of nowhere - the choice our country has made - that’s a choice that no other country has made,” he said late Sunday, directly invoking his youth within 4 days of his 40th birthday. “France is only itself when it carries a real European vision and a real determination to pull the world towards the future.”


Seven months into a five year term, multiple polls show Macron’s popularity climbing as the president struts on the international stage on issues ranging from climate change to conflict in the Middle East and reaps the benefits of an economy that is growing at its fastest pace in half a decade.


Macron’s approval rating jumped 6 points to 52 percent in an Ifop poll for Le Journal du Dimanche That’s a gain of 10 points in two months as he recovered from a series of gaffes made over the summer months and a focus on budget cuts as people returned from holidays in September.


The president, who won power in May in his first bid for any elected office, held a birthday celebration before the fact at the French chateau of Chambord with his family this weekend. Though he paid for the event himself, the celebration drew controversy anyway as critics in the media and on social networks accused him of regal tendencies. His office says no further festivities are planned for Thursday.


In a 40-minute interview with France 2 television that was recorded last Tuesday, Macron defended his actions, saying that the economic reforms his government is pushing through will take two years to bear fruit. “It takes time,” he said.





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