May Day Protests in Europe; Violence Erupts in France

    Photo: AFP [via France 24]

    The Facts

    • Across Europe, citizens and trade unionists took to the streets on May 1 to mark International Workers' Day.

    • In France, tens of thousands demonstrated against Pres. Emmanuel Macron, demanding higher wages and condemning the government's plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Macron's re-election makes him the first French president in two decades to win a second term. This is a clear indication of the positive work he's done for France. Though perhaps painful and against the will of the left-wing parties and activists, the reforms he's initiated are paying off. He must stay the course to enable France to prosper again.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The EU likes to present itself as a champion of democracy and social justice. But, even in France, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, while Macron primarily serves the interests of the elite. The protests on May 1 were an expression of justified frustration that could lead to far more serious social unrest.

    Establishment split



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