With the rise in inflation, an excessive rise in living costs and prices of essentials, Europeans are heading towards worse suffering. At the same time, their leaders indulge in gambling orgy at ‘Casino Ukraine’ – a war which will ultimately bring nothing to people in Europe – irrespective of its final result.
If Volodymyr Zelensky becomes the victor, it will open a grand opportunity for US President Joe Biden and his successors to make hundreds of billions of dollars by selling Ukraine’s natural and mineral resources at will by treating the country as Washington’s enslaved nation. While Americans will continue to make tremendous financial gains in Ukraine, it will not bring anything good to the Ukrainian people – similarly, as many countries have massive natural and mineral resources – for example, Venezuela, where people always somehow survive fighting poverty and mere starvation.
In the United Kingdom, people’s lives are getting worse from bad. For this reason, there is nothing newsworthy to the British public about the ongoing strikes and protests in France. This is especially so when there is enough to worry about with the unprecedented wave of public sector strikes at home. But of course, Britons living in France for various reasons have been directly affected by the strikes and protests. The ongoing strikes and protests have shown how the retirement issue is symptomatic of a profoundly divided country.
It may be mentioned here that French President Emmanuel Macron’s Government pushed a highly controversial pension reform through the National Assembly without seeking parliamentary approval. The special Clause 49.3 of the French Constitution, enables the Government to pass laws without facing a parliamentary vote. In the months leading up to this, protestors vowed to “paralyze the country”. Just minutes after the Government’s announcement to the Assembly that it would proceed with the reform without holding a vote, violent protests erupted in Paris and other French cities. Since then, not one day has gone by without ad hoc protests flaring up in the capital, with huge numbers of police vehicles racing from one end of the city to the other to contain the next gathering. There are also videos on social media showing how law enforcement agencies in France have been committing gross human rights violations.
Macron’s men see the reform as a major victory as reforming the French pension system has been his top priority since 2017, and successive crises – first the Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) movement, then the COVID-19 pandemic – have repeatedly delayed it. However, forcing this reform through will further divide a splintered country.
Macron, many will argue, has never had the legitimacy to rule the country, as he was elected by many to bar the Far-Right Candidate Marine Le Pen from the presidency. “We did not vote for him, but against Marine Le Pen” is a sentence foreign journalists will repeatedly hear in recent weeks.
Additionally, in 2022, Macron lost his parliamentary majority, weakening his position. With this reform, opposed by more than two-thirds of the country, Macron has become the most unpopular figure in France. Following the introduction of the reform, Macron’s Government barely survived a vote of no confidence by a mere nine votes.
According to analysts, Emmanuel Macron will continue his bullish behaviour as he will not be allowed to run for a third term. But by the time he is gone, France will be surely pushed into a dire situation – with an economic crisis followed by multiple challenges which will directly affect the French people for years to come. Another major issue here is – although Macron cannot run for the third term, he will end his current tenure in 2027 while this pension reform may be his last significant domestic policy, as both his position in the Assembly and his popularity on the streets will not give him much room for further legislation.
For most French, Macron has fully become the out-of-touch Jupiterian ruler they had always suspected him of being. It is likely that even if he attempts to unite the French people, as he initially set out, all efforts will go in vain. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron will continue to burn the French economy further by sending millions of dollars in the Ukraine war – to please the US and maintain his image as a “global leader”.