icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
5 Oct, 2018 15:14

'They don't do it for fun': Macron slammed for telling retirees to stop moaning about pension cuts

'They don't do it for fun': Macron slammed for telling retirees to stop moaning about pension cuts

Emmanuel Macron is in hot water after telling his compatriots to stop moaning after a retiree complained about pension cuts. Politicians slammed the president for the lack of empathy, saying that people "don't do it for fun."

The French leader was visiting the Colombey-les-Deux-Églises commune in the north-east of the country when he was confronted by a group of locals. One pensioner addressed the centrist president complaining about pension cuts.

The president chose to respond with a bit of moralizing and referred to his formidable predecessor. "The grandson of the general [Charles de Gaulle] told me a little while ago" that his grandfather's rule was: "You can speak freely, the only thing we should not do is to complain."

Macron insisted that French wartime leader “had the right idea” and the country “would be different if everyone did the same.”

The former investment banker explained to his compatriots that people in France "don't realize how lucky" they are. "We are seeing more and more elderly people in our country in good health," he noted.

Much of the French public did not agree with Macron’s definition of “luck” and his political opponents didn’t mince their words. “Those who complain don't do it just for the fun of it but because they are the victims of non-stop tax rises and endemic insecurity,” Macron’s nemesis, and political rival during the 2017 presidential campaign, Marine Le Pen wrote on Twitter.

Macron's other presidential rival Nicolas Dupont-Aignan called the president's "arrogance" merely "unlimited.""How can he lie [to the French] by denying the decline of pensions?" he asked.

"Why do pensioners, the unemployed who struggle to find a stable job and the poor continue to complain? The head of State has to pull himself together," Valérie Boyer from the Republican Party wrote.

Thibault Fline, a counsellor who works at the National Assembly sarcastically noted that, according to Macron, if the French people stop complaining, they would "cross the street" and easily "find a job".

"Macron is at the top of his art: Contempt," Adrien Quatennens, from‏ la France Insoumise party, wrote sarcastically.

Many French people were also angered by Macron's 'stop complaining' comments, saying "now we should stop complaining and better die."

Another stressed that if French people "had the income and the benefits" which Macron promised to them, they wouldn't have complained.

"What if he stopped a bit of complaining about "the French"?" one more person asked.

With nearly 17 months into his presidency the 40-year-old has seen his approval rating rapidly sinking. 

One of the latest polls even showed that fewer people approve of the "President of the Rich" than of his predecessors at the same stage of their presidencies.

Macron's encounters with French citizens have repeatedly been slammed for lack of empathy. He once told an unemployed man that he could easily find a job if just he "crossed the street".

He also dressed down a teenager who called him "Manu" and told him to choose between "Mr President" and "sir".  On one more occasion he sparked outcry after telling workers protesting job cuts "to look for a job." 

The recent announcement that the government is to cut the budget and unveil billions of euros in tax relief for businesses didn't contribute to Macron's popularity either.

"On the domestic front, the period of grace for the new president has ended," independent journalist Luc Rivet told RT last month.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!