macrons rise

Macron’s Ascent



triumph newcomer movement (2)
defeat wing (3) establishment (2)
fuel (2) spectrum top-down operation
enable radical (2) bring about
victory disavow long-standing
left (3) right (4) poll/pollster
pro (2) force (3) splinter (2)
unite lean (3) shake up (2)
reform take shape intellectual
rapid far-right conquer (2)
oppose opposition domestic (3)
agenda ambitious polarize (2)
praise shift (3) spotlight (2)
budget chancellor get used to
role stage (2) challenge (2)



Video: Macro’s First Year in Office



This was his moment of triumph: Emmanuel Macron, the newcomer who led the En Marche movement, shook up France’s political establishment, defeated the far-right National Front and introduced a new style of government.

Jerome Sainte-Marie, Pollster: “France hasn’t had such a powerful leader for decades. Even under Charles de Gaulle, the presidency wasn’t such a top-down operation.

Macron brought all this about himself. This is not a president who conquers a party, but rather a party that took shape after his victory.”

In disavowing the long standing left-right political spectrum, Macro has tried to join pro-EU forces with those opposed to globalization. He’s tried to unite right-leaning business leaders with left-wing intellectuals.

What remains is a splintered opposition — which has served to fuel Macron’s power.

Jerome Sainte-Marie, Pollster: “This has enabled him to introduce rapid and radical reforms, especially in the job market and the railway system.

That’s something even Nicholas Sarkozy didn’t manage to do.”

But Macron’s domestic policies have made him a polarizing figure. It is his ambitious European agenda that has won him more praise in France.

He wants to introduce a special new EU finance minister with a separate budget and an EU army.

Now the EU spotlight has shifted to Macron, away from the German chancellor, something that Angela Merkel will have to get used, after her central role on the European stage went virtually unchallenged for so long.

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1. Emmanuel Macro favors the status quo. True or false?

2. “Even under Charles de Gaulle, the presidency wasn’t such a top-down operation.” What does this mean?

3. Does Macron represent a traditional, established political party?

4. Is he far-right, a rightist, center-right, centralist, center-left, leftist, far-left, both right and left, neither or an eclectic? What is his domestic agenda? What are some of his proposals?

5. There is a united opposition against Macron. Is this correct or incorrect? Has this been advantageous or disadvantageous for Macron?

6. He is preoccupied and concerned only with France. Is this right or wrong?

7. Will Macron and Merkel lead the EU together? Will they share power?


A. What do people in your country think of Emmanuel Macron? Do they like and admire him?

B. Why might Macron be supplanting Angela Merkel as the de facto leader of Europe?

C. Have there been other young, charismatic, radical leaders similar to Macron?

D. What will happen to Macron, France and the EU?

E. Is there any advice you could give to Macron (or the people)?


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