Nahla Abdel Moneim
President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level since taking office on May 14, 2017, a poll in a French newspaper showed, a day after anti-economic protests broke out.
The Journal du Dimanche published on Sunday the results of an opinion poll carried out by the research organization IOPP showing that the popularity of Macron fell to 25%, according to the sample respondents adopted by the center, which amounted to about 1957 people.
The survey comes in the wake of recent protests in the country, where thousands of citizens gathered on Saturday and gathered on highways throughout France, leading to their closure, especially those leading to airports.
The protesters, known for their “yellow vests,” expressed anger at Macron’s monetary and economic policies, such as high fuel prices and high taxes on citizens.
The Interior Ministry estimated the number of demonstrators at 125,000, who disrupted traffic in different areas; killing one person, and injuring over 400. Demonstrators shouted against Macron, whom they consider head of the rich class only, after the issuance of the wealth tax.
In late 2017, the president decided to increase the tax on diesel vehicles to encourage drivers to purchase other environmentally friendly cars. But the rapid pace of fuel price hikes has overshadowed the public’s impatience.
For his part, Minister of Environmental Transformation, François de Roigi, said that the government will continue the “planned route”, in terms of environmental taxes, despite the results of the Journal du Dimanche survey. The survey indicated that 62% of the French believe that the need to give priority to economic measures would contribute to improving the purchasing power of citizens, even if at the expense of moving less rapidly to the planned achievements of the environment file.
In another development, Macron’s opponents took advantage of the situation, led by Republican Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Guevroy-Didier, who called on the Yellow Vests to continue their pursuit of the government to implement their demands.
The survey was not the first of its kind during the Macron presidency. In August 2018, the Le Monde published a lengthy report on a survey showing Macron’s declining popularity following the crisis called the Benalla scandal.
The Benalla scandal is an incident linked to the personal guard of President Macron. A video was published of Benalla attacking a demonstrator who gathered on Labor Day in early May 2018. The incident shook the community as a result of the secrecy of the Elysee.