Macron said he had come to realise a “special responsibility” fell to him


Germany has stumbled, tripped up by the pandemic which hammered demand for its goods in China and then held down by the war in Ukraine which punished Berlin’s reckless reliance on cheap Russian gas.

But in France economic growth has also disappointed as Paris struggles to get its borrowing back under control.

For all his promise as the vanquisher of the far-Right, Macron held off Le Pen by a smaller margin when he was reelected in 2022.

His party, rebranded as Renaissance last year, now trails her National Rally in the polls by a considerable margin.

Like other leaders before him, France’s youngest ever president has found his ambition to overhaul the economy tested by voters’ tireless willingness to protest. 

France’s retirement age is one of the lowest among rich countries. Lifting it from 62 to 64 was met with an outpouring of public anger.

France’s tax burden is the highest in the OECD. Tax revenues as a share of GDP stood at 46.1pc in 2022, ahead of even countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden. 

Telegraph 21 April 2024


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