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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

French Riots Over Teen's Killing An Unwelcome, Perilous Crisis For President Macron


The riots in France sparked by the police killing of a teenager represent a deeply unwelcome and perilous crisis for President Emmanuel Macron, just as he was looking to press ahead with his second mandate.

The violence erupted just after Macron finally saw off half a year of protests over his controversial pension reform, which dominated the domestic agenda for most of this year.

But the images of shops ransacked and buses burned across the country also risk hurting Macron's international standing at a time he wants to play an instrumental role in ending the Russian invasion of Ukraine and be seen as Europe's number one powerbroker.

In a hugely embarrassing development for Macron, the rioting has forced him to cancel a state visit to Germany that was due to start this weekend and was to have been the first such trip by a French head of state in 23 years.

The postponement is doubly awkward for the Elysee as Macron had earlier this year put off a planned state visit by the UK's King Charles III -- which would have been his first foreign trip as monarch -- due to the often-violent pensions protests.

He also cut short his attendance at an EU summit in Brussels this week, rushing back to Paris to chair a crisis meeting without giving a press conference.

After a first term that became dominated by combating the anti-government Yellow Vests protests and then the Covid-19 pandemic, the centrist's second term again risks being marked by troubleshooting rather than implementing policy.

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