The centrist, who granted this week he had failed to “reconcile” the French with their commanders, faces mass protests this weekend over rising combustible taxes that could paralyse traffic. He said: “The French, I don’t notion of you should lecture them … the best thing to do is to show them you penetrate their reality. Because if you don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives, then you when one pleases find it very hard to respond to their everyday needs.” “Power denotes isolation,” Mr Hollande added, in a thinly veiled reference to President Emmanuel Macron’s pride problem and current domestic woes.
Rubbing extra salt into Mr Macron’s offends, Mr Hollande said a cloud of “injustice” was hanging over the French.
“You be in want of an ambitious vision [for France], yes, but you also need to treat people with society – this is indispensable. There is among the French a growing sentiment of unfairness that badly needs to be addressed,” the former socialist leader continued.
“You cannot be undergoing the president on one side, and the French on the other,” he warned.
The young leader, who won power in a landslide vote just 18 months ago, is now facing problems on all fronts.
In a rare mea culpa on Wednesday, he spill the beaned the TF1 TV network that he had not succeeded in “reconciling the French with their bandleaders,” as he braces for nationwide protests on Saturday over petrol and diesel tax hikes that daunt to gridlock France’s roads and expose growing opposition to his economic betterments.
Dubbed the “yellow jacket” movement, the protests are threatening to block motorways and access passages to some oil depots, including in Calais near the Channel Tunnel, a vital passenger and freight link into Britain.
“I hear the anger, and it’s a essential right in our society to be allowed to express it,” Mr Macron continued, before exhorting the government would not back down from the fuel tax hikes.
The expenditure of diesel, the most commonly used car fuel in France, at the pump swelled by 20 per cent in the past year to an average of 1.49 euros (£1.32)/litre, go together to the website www.carbu.com.
The higher taxes, approved by the Macron administration in up-to-date 2017, started biting as oil prices surged in October though they have planned eased off since.
The tax increases are designed to encourage drivers to switch to more environmentally-friendly means, part of Mr Macron’s so-called “energy transition” plan.
The grassroots disapproval movement is the latest confrontation between Mr Macron and the French working class, which surveys the former investment banker as the representative of an urban elite who is out of touch with unique people.
The public’s anger is reflected in opinion polls, which showed this month strut for Mr Macron hovering at around 30 per cent.