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Yellow vests, promises and students on strike

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My father used to say: “Boy, never talk about politics with family, friends or your customers. it always brings trouble.” But, whoever looks at Europe today and the recent actions of the Gilets Jaunes and subsequently in Belgium and the Netherlands the yellow vests, cannot do other than to delve into the dark matter which is called EU politics.

The French people and government personnel are turning against Macron massively – just before Christmas. Not a big surprise; you saw it coming when his popularity in October had dropped to an absolute low point. The recent eco-tax fuel boost triggered the petrol drop that allowed the flame to hit the pan. A number of people put on some yellow cardigans to be seen, and that grew into a recognizable resistance color in no time. Anyone who does not want to walk ‘en Marche’ will stuff such a yellow vest behind the windshield of the car to support the activists.

The recent demonstrations show, on the not really objective Dutch television, mainly groups of people who are fighting. The truth is that the demonstrations all take place in a friendly and singing way. Near us, in Antibes 300 people sat and sang on a roundabout, waving with banners. The police were there and looked at it with a smile. Just like many celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, whose young breasts are no longer allowed to be shown in a museum in the Netherlands, after complaints from some disturbed visitors. Instead of saying; ‘hey, this is the free West and BB is our goddess’, the authorities listened to a minority.

But back on the street are rioters active; they form a secret branch of the police and part of the CRS. They mingle with the activists, throw in windows, put cars on fire and start moving the crowd (and the media cameras). And with so much violence, the police has a license to shoot. Even before the activists were in the picture, Macron’s snipers were already lying on the roofs. A President who shoots at his people; it can all be done in France.

It is not that the French do not want to pay an eco-tax or do not see that the environment needs to be protected. The frustration lies more in the fact that the working class has to pay for the Paris climate agreement and in the meantime, the country (and Europe) threatens to fill up with friendly Africans who, supported by the Marrakech pact, can stay here for once and for all on the cost of the taxpaying citizen. But the Marrakech agreement was not mentioned in any election program and yet it must be introduced at once. It has been signed now, so we’ll see what 2019 brings.

The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. Since ‘Les Miserables’ not much has changed, albeit that people are informed faster and better by social media like Twitter. A French sociologist predicted that there will be a religious dichotomy in Europe and certainly in France; with a part that wants to live under Sharia law and a part that wants to maintain free European values. The outskirts of Paris are already covered by the Sharia law because the French police have nothing more to say, just like in Marseille.

How fortunate that the Cote d’Azur remains ‘normal’ and every village has mayors who go to work, singing the Marseillaise. In Cannes, it became clear during the summer that everyone who goes into the sea with a burqini can count on an angry French public and an active police force. Even though Paris says it must be different; the Côte d’Azur remains as it is. So if you are tired of the crowds, you are most welcome.

The big disappointment behind the demonstrations is in Macron’s talk; he has not fulfilled any promise. What else can you expect from a former banker who, like no other, belongs to the elite and who, with a clever marketing positioning, supposedly placed himself in ‘the middle of the left and right’. Somebody told me that Macron was the ‘spare tire’ as nobody really wanted the left or the right wheel. That might have been the solution, but Macron chooses in everything for the elite. Even the elderly have been deceived by him; the increase in the retirement age simply arrives and even elderly fellow man is not spared during the cutbacks.

The elderly hoped of course for some extra support for Macron, especially with a woman who is already at retirement age. But instead of choosing the elderly, he has crowned himself a young Sun God who wants to lead Europe. When Frau Haantje Merkel leaves, Macron and France become the undisputed leader within the EU. But it is not so easy to enter the history books. Because more and more information is coming out.

The Sun Palace of Macron has collected a court where Louis XVII is jealous of. As many as 121 people are around Macron and his wife day and night to serve them. It has been discovered that the youngest employee in that ‘inner-circle’ has a salary of 6,400 euros per month and that it can rise to 12,000 euros per month. Net. But then you are ‘chef de etage’ which means that you are responsible for the housekeeping on one floor and you may occasionally bring a letter. This kind of behavior bumps the French working class against the chest. Rightly so.

Daughter Sophie can spend extra time in the gym this week because students kept her high Lycée school closed as a protest against Macron. In Nice, Antibes, Cagnes sur Mer; everywhere the schools were closed last week with students walking along the highway, together with the teachers. Also in education, Macron has introduced plans that are bad for everyone. Anyone who wants to study after High school can no longer go in the home environment automatically to University. A committee will now first consider your grade list and your general attitude during your school time. You then have to enter ten other cities where you would like to study. And if you are placed somewhere in Dijon instead of Nice because there is more space available, your parents have to cough up those extra costs. And the teachers need to do more and more work because extra staff has been cut down.

So the bucket is now full; The French no longer accept Macron and demand he steps out. The ambulance staff and the fire brigade are also against Macron, so there is not much support left. The uncrowned Sun King stands alone in his own shadow.

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About The Author
Ab Kuijer

Radio, TV and advertising producer. Owner of an international marketing company. Lives in the South of France since 2006. Former President of the British Chamber of Commerce, later Riviera Business Club. Happily married to Jojo. Reads and writes 2000 words per day about different topics. With the Living on the Côte d'Azur platform, Ab and Jo together provide 'Good old Dutch' Service for buyers of real estate on the Côte d'Azur, Portugal, Mauritius, Italy and Ibiza.