Macron on the brink: French President approval drops following protests

Emmanuel Macron in 'difficult moment' over police says expert

In polling data compiled by YouGov, Mr Macron’s approval rating has dropped a further two percent since November 2 and now stands at just 32 percent. In a further blow to Mr Macron’s tenure, his disapproval rating has risen to 61 – an increase of three percent – according to data compiled between November 30 to December 1 of a sample size of 1,008 people. The latest polling data comes following protests in Paris last week over the introduction of a new security law.

Violence erupted in Paris for the second weekend running due to protests against the law which has drawn criticism from UN experts.

Article 24 now makes it illegal to spread the image or identify a police officer with the intent to harm.

If someone violates this law, a one-year prison sentence may follow with a fine of up to £41,000.

Five UN special reporters claimed the new legislation is incomparable with international law and human rights.

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Journalists in France, have also called it a violation of democratic norms thus sparking clashes with police in Paris and across the country.

The French government confirmed 95 people had been arrested across the country while a further 67 officers were injured following demonstrations in several cities.

A group of independent reporters said: “Video images of police abuses captured by the public play an essential role in the overseeing of public institutions, which is fundamental in a country that respects the rule of law.”

The legislation was thrown into the spotlight after three police officers were suspended for allegedly beating a music producer in Paris.

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Mr Macron has also been plagued by so-called yellow vest protests which emerged in 2018.

The protests, known as gilets jaunes, began against the rise in fuel taxes and the cost of living in France.

Fuel taxes have risen year-on-year since 2014 with both diesel and petrol prices rising by 23 and 15 percent respectively last year.

Such was the outrage, the protests almost brought the country to a standstill and caused repeated clashes with police across the country.

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Mr Macron is also under severe pressure to protect the fishing industry in France during Brexit negotiations.

The French President stepped in to pressure Michel Barnier amid claims the negotiator may drop his demands over fisheries in order to agree a Brexit deal.

The UK has pushed for annual negotiations on fisheries access and quotas, thus sparking fear France’s fishing industry could be decimated.

Due to that, Mr Barnier responded with an offer of a 10-year period whereby EU fishermen are given continued access to the UK’s waters.

This offer was rejected thus throwing Brexit talks into jeopardy with time running out for a deal to be agreed.

France’s European Affairs minister, Clement Beaune, stated France would veto any deal unless the UK signs up to certain elements in relation to the level playing field.

He said: “Within the EU27 there are different sensitivities – it would be naive to deny it.

“We will not give in to time pressure.

“We will not accept an agreement at all costs on the pretext that we are getting closer to the deadline.”

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