With one eye to the Yellow Vests and the other on the rise of the far-right, President Macron is approaching the May 2019 European Union parliamentary vote as a “contest between progressives and nationalists.” His targets in this battle are Le Pen in France, but also those in other European countries who lead “the nationalist leprosy.” But that is part of President Macron’s problem—while he is out saving Europe from the threat of nationalism, he faces strong domestic discontent rooted in a tough economic times at home. How he handles the Yellow Vests will also determine the outcome of the May 2019 European Parliament vote in France as well. No one has said that France is easy to govern and the Yellow Vests are proving just that.
Scott B. MacDonald is chief economist for Smith’s Research and Gradings. His views are his own.