French President Emmanuel Macron was yesterday set to unveil his long-awaited response to nearly six months of street protests as he lays out reform plans that could prove decisive for his political future.
Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France.
But over the past six months, the momentum has been knocked out of his presidency following the emergence of the anti-government “yellow vest” movement which has held weekly protests against social inequality.
Thursday’s address, scheduled for 1600 GMT, will see Macron holding his first-ever full domestic news conference to outline a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise launched in response to the protests.
He is expected to announce a series of important but not revolutionary measures, including tax cuts for the middle classes and the re-evaluation of small pensions -- both of which were among the demands of the yellow vest protesters.
But most of the reforms are already known after leaks to the press, including the likely closure of the ENA administration school which has become a direct feeder for the French elite.